After weekend drownings, a call for floatation devices at local lakes

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 2 at 6:38 PM

LEWISVILLE — Two days before the July 4 holiday — and one day after two brothers drowned while swimming at Lewisville Lake — water safety experts said the key to staying safe could be life jackets.

"They need to be Coast Guard-approved," said swimming instructor and lifeguard trainer Krissy Smith, who has worked with the American Red Cross for 12 years.

Neither of the victims in Sunday's drowning was using a flotation device. Investigators said the weather changed quickly at the lake as they were swimming. The wind kicked up, and it apparently became difficult for them to fight the waves just before the brothers went under.

Smith said lake swimming is different than pool swimming because conditions can change so fast.

"Always keep an eye on the weather when near water," she suggested.

Smith said "floaties" or "water wings" — which children wear on their arms — can provide a false sense of security and should not be considered safety devices.

She said parents should always study their surroundings and be knowledgeable of their own child's swimming limits and those of any other children with them.

"Know first aid and CPR," she said, "and never swim alone."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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