Georgia DNR says safe swimming practices are vital during summer months

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Summer break has officially started for many kids around the CSRA and state officials are telling folks to use common sense when you're out swimming.  

"Number one I keep a close eye on all my children, I know where they are at all times," said Ashley Mullis, mother of three.

Mullis is spending her Memorial Day weekend out on the lake, with her kids, having fun. She said she isn't letting the celebration distract her from keeping a close eye on her children. .

"Especially if you're way out there and you can't see them, if they go under, they're little, they can't support themselves so that'll be it," Mullis said.

Brian Hobbins, Conservation Corporal for the Georgia department of natural resources agrees.

"A lot of times especially when we have drownings with children in the swimming areas and beaches, they're be on a picnic and things like that and parents they'll turn around for one second and something tragic happen," said Hobbins.

Hobbins recommends that folks who aren't experienced swimmers wear a life jacket and swim in pairs. If you're out on a lake, stay in areas that are designated for swimming.

"If you go out past the buoys you may step from 5 feet to 20 feet," said Hobbins. That's where we have a lot of drownings from is people getting outside of those designated swimming areas so if you are going to come out to the lake the best thing is swim in the designated swimming areas."

He added that alcohol can impair your judgment and that drinking alcohol while swimming could be a fatal combination.  

"They kind of panic, because they can't realize which way is up. We have cases in people drowning trying to swim to the bottom, thinking they're going to top because they're intoxicated," said Hobbins.

Mullis said it's the summer, so enjoy yourself; just make smart and safe decisions.

"Have fun at the lake, but make sure you keep safety first," Mullis said.