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Stay Safe Around the Water

In addition to the Atlantic Ocean, Plymouth alone has more than 300 ponds, and Plymouth County has more than 75 additional pond and lakes to enjoy.

Taking safety precautions as either a swimmer or boater is important. The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services has great information on drowning, keeping children safe in and around water, and boating safety.  Here are some basic precautions to take:

  • Make sure you know how to swim. If you can’t swim, keep to shallow areas or use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. For a list of places offering swim lessons, go to www.mass.gov/dph/swimsafety.
  • Swim with a buddy, never alone, even if you are a very good swimmer.
  • Swim in designated areas, with a lifeguard present
  • Swim sober: Avoid drugs and alcohol to stay alert in the water
  • Do not dive or jump into water that is not at least 12 feet deep. Enter the water feet first, never dive head first into a river, lake or pond. You could severely injure your head and neck, and drown.
  • Do not swim during a storm or when there is lightning.
  • Don’t swim in an area with strong moving currents in the water. Depth, currents, underwater debris and water temperature change constantly in rivers, lakes and ponds. Yesterday’s safe swimming spot might have hidden dangers today.
  • Keep a cellphone handy and know where you are in case you need to call for help
  • When in a boat, wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.