Blue Marsh Lake Park Rangers remind visitors to practice water safety as summer season begins

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Blue Marsh Lake Park Rangers are reminding visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and thoughtful activities in, on, and around open water.

Park Rangers are preparing for another busy summer season kicking off Memorial Day weekend. Most public recreation fatalities occur during the summer season and are water related. In 2022, two drownings occurred at Blue Marsh Lake during the summer months in non-designated swimming areas.

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People of all ages are strongly encouraged to practice water safety. Before entering or being around open water, keep these things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Wear a life jacket – By providing time to be rescued, a life jacket can help you survive an unexpected fall into the water. It can also save your life if you become exhausted due to fatigue, waves, or strong currents while swimming. An adult can drown in 60 seconds, and it takes a strong swimmer 10 minutes to put on a life jacket after entering the water. Statistics show that numerous drownings could have been prevented if a life jacket had been worn, Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns.

Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in open water is different from swimming in a pool, and swimming ability decreases with age. It is never too late to take swimming lessons and improve your swimming ability. Nationally, people drown every year while swimming to retrieve boats and toys. Let those things go because they are not worth losing your life over.

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Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol is not allowed anywhere, on land or on the water, at Blue Marsh Lake. Alcohol and drug use is one of the leading contributing factors to drowning as it greatly reduces your coordination, judgement, and reaction time.

Watch Your Children – Constantly supervise your children whenever they’re in, on, or near open water. Always keep them within arm’s reach. To keep them safe, keep yourself safe by ensuring everyone wears properly fitted life jackets whenever enjoying your favorite outdoor water recreational activity. Blue Marsh Lake offers free life jackets for use during your visit on a first come, first serve basis at our Life Jacket Loaner Station at the Day Use Area, Dry Brooks Boat Launch, and State Hill Boat Launch.

Swim in designated areas – Designated swim areas are designed to make your swimming activities safer with the presence of defined water depths, water rescue gear, and keeping boat traffic out. Choose to swim at the swim beach as opposed to other undesignated areas where water hazards are more likely to be present.

Learn more water safety tips by visiting: pleasewearit.com. Park Rangers would like to also remind visitors to practice responsible recreation and to be courteous of others, park staff, and the park facilities.

Knowing the park rules and regulations helps keep visitors safe to enjoy the park for the day. All rules and regulations can be viewed by visiting www.nap.usace.army.mil/missions/civil-works/blue-marsh-lake/

Come prepared and expect lines – Fair weather weekends and summer holidays are the busiest days of the year at the lake. Come prepared for the day with everything you need and expect lines at facility entrances. If you leave the park during your visit, you may have to wait in line to get back in.

Dispose of trash properly – Be sure to clean up all your trash and other waste items and dispose them in the trash cans provided at the end of your visit.

Park in designated areas – Parking is restricted to designated lined spaces and lots. Parking outside of designated areas is subject to fines and/or towing.

Leave pets home – While well behaved pets are welcome at Blue Marsh Lake, busy weekends and holidays are not a suitable time for them to visit. Keep pets at home during these times and bring them out to enjoy the park when it is less busy. Remember, pets are not allowed in the swim beach area, or around the concession stand and bathhouse area below Parking Lot F.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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