Chief Domenic J. DiMella
27 Hamilton Street
Saugus, MA 01906
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Saugus Police Provide Swimming Safety Tips to Community
SAUGUS – Following two tragic drownings in town this summer, Chief Domenic DiMella and the Saugus Police Department are urging residents to follow safety tips while by the water.
On June 19, a 13-year-old male died while swimming at Walden Pond, and just one month later, on July 18, a 35-year-old man died after he was pulled from a lake at Breakheart Reservation.
The Saugus Police Department recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy. Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets in and the around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Pay close attention to children and seniors. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause a loss of footing.
- If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
- If you are swimming and feel you can’t make it to the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
- If someone is in trouble in the water, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 911. Throw the victim something that floats – a life jacket, cooler, inflatable ball and yell instructions on how to get to shore.
- Learn CPR to respond to emergencies.
Additionally, residents should never drink while swimming. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that, while drowning is more common for children 5 and younger, it is the second leading cause of death for people age 5-24. According to NSC data, 710 people age 5 to 24 drowned in 2013.
“The loss of these two lives at swimming areas in and around Saugus this summer is extremely tragic,” Chief DiMella said. “Our goal is for residents to stay safe for the duration of the season. Whether you’re at a state reservation, the beach, or a pool, always be cognizant of your surroundings, do not swim unless there is a lifeguard on duty and never go in areas where there are posted signs warning against swimming.”