Water safety encouraged in wake of recent drowning related incidents

VIDEO: Water safety encouraged in wake of recent drowning related incidents

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - As summer nears many turn to water activities to cool off. But the fun can turn tragic in an instant.

Three times in the past couple of weeks local first responders have been called on for drowning related rescues.  Taking the right water safety measures and teaching children how to swim can save a life.

Charleston is surrounded by water. That's one of the reasons Bill Collar signed his girls up for swimming lessons.

"This is Laney she's 10, this is Bates she's 12 and we started them here at 4 years of age," Collar said. "They  became very comfortable with the water at a very early age, it's important to us."

According to the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee drownings are the leading cause of death among children one to four years old. Last weekend a local three-year-old died from an accidental drowning and on Wednesday another 3-year-old was rescued in the South Point Apartment's pool in Hanahan.

"The crews were able to get him out start CPR... was unresponsive when we got there was in full arrest when we got him," Bowers said. "On the way to the hospital, we were able to get a pulse back."

Fire Chief of Hanahan, Joesph Bowers says the child is in critical condition and officials are still investigating the incident. State Representative Wendell Gilliard created a bill to name May "Water Safety Awareness" month. It also pushes for school districts to teach water safety to students.

"A lot emphasis we need to work on is safety making sure there's gates, parents are paying attention to their children," Bowers said.  "Children are naturally curious."

Head Swim Coach and pool manager at the the Hobcaw Yacht Club in Mt. Pleasant, Mary B. Shaw has some important advice for parents.

"After they have their swim lessons they also need to get in the water with their kids," Shaw said. "It makes their kids more comfortable in the water and that's the whole goal to be comfortable.

Water safety education can lead to drowning prevention.

"It's every parents worst nightmare," Collar said.  "I feel for the families and ya know you can't stress the importance of learning water safety at a very early age."

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