Fort Worth

Fort Worth Fire Encourages Weekend Water Safety

The Fort Worth Fire Department wants everyone to be aware of water safety, whether it's at an area lake or in your own backyards.

It was just last Fourth of July weekend off the waters of Lake Worth Marina Park when a 38-year-old Oklahoma man drowned with his family watching from shore.

The park is empty for now, but this weekend that will certainly change.

"With Memorial Day weekend we see a significant increase in the number of people who are out on the area lakes, out on the rivers. There's always additional concern about drowning," said Fort Worth Fire Lt. Kyle Falkner.

Fort Worth and Tarrant County remain some of the leading areas in the state when it comes to pediatric drownings. And while 60 percent of all drownings in the area happen in backyard pools, the unofficial start of summer puts the focus on the waterways especially after recent rains have changed their circumstances.

"That swimming hole that you may have used in years past may be a little different now," Falkner said. "Be aware of your surroundings. We don't know what kind of debris is in the water. Know what you're getting into before you dive in."

And when you dive in, Lt. Falkner says, you should do so wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket, whether you're a child or an adult.

"This is a simple version, goes over the head, strap around your body, that's it," Falkner said, demonstrating a life jacket. "Go out, have a good time swimming, but we want you to be safe."

It's a safety-first message emergency officials hope those on any form of water will listen to, as first responders hope for a quiet holiday weekend.

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