Water safety tips heading into Memorial Day weekend

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Posted at 6:10 AM, May 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-29 06:10:20-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Many people are spending their Memorial Day weekend by the water. If you're planning to do something around the pool or go to the beach for the holiday weekend, safety comes first!

Experts say while you're visiting the beach this summer, you should be cautious about water safety.

"I would say know your ability in the water, and if you question that a little bit, stay in the shallow limit pools," said Gary Felch, the deputy chief of the Virginia Beach Life Saving Association.

According to the CDC, drowning is a leading cause of death for children.

Felch told News 3 it's important that no one should ever swim alone. If you have someone with you while you swim, they'll be able to get you help if you need it.

"If somebody goes into cardiac arrest, we put [an automated external defibrillator] machine on them, hopefully it will shock them. We all carry oxygen and we have collars for spinal injuries," Felch said.

Another warning from Felch — leave the alcohol behind.

"It does happen out here, but if people are going to be drinking we just ask that they be smart about it and stay out of the water," Felch said.

However, a drowning or incident can happen to any swimmer. News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones spoke with one man that said although he loves the ocean, he still takes extra safety measures.

"I make sure I don't go out too deep, make sure I know the waves and the current. I also make sure to tell people where I'm going so they can know where I'm at," said Malcom Green-Johnson.

Even for expert swimmers, an emergency can happen — so it's better to be prepared.

"We've had a few rescues Saturday. We had a surfer fall off a board, we had a couple little kids get caught in some small rip currents, but once they got in they were all OK," Felch said.