Experts give tips on staying safe in the water this summer

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 5/12/2014 5:40 pm
SPARKS, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- With warmer temperatures hitting our region this week, many of us will likely be enjoying the outdoors. Experts want to remind us ways we can stay safe while having fun in the sun.

The Sparks Fire Department is ready to rescue us in the Truckee River this summer, just in case we need them to. "When a real rescue happens, we'll be ready for it," said Darren Jackson.

Jackson said last summer, they responded to several river rescue calls. The Water Entry Team has been training monthly since March to prepare for this year.

Jackson wants to remind us all to never swim alone. "The water that we have is really cold, and it can cause hypothermia really fast," said Jackson. "So other people there, they can help you if you get in a problem. And if you're wearing a life jacket, it gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and then swim to the side of the river."

Jackson said two people died in the river last year, so his message to swimmers is to be aware of your surroundings. "If you're in the current, you don't want to try to put your feet down and stand up, you want to swim to edge of the river and then once you've stopped moving you can put your feet down and stand up," said Jackson.

The ever-popular Wild Island water park is set to open this Saturday, and officials remind parents of ways to keep their kids safe. "Keep them in eyesight or keep them close to you," said Joe Frock from Wild Island. "Sunscreen is huge for safety in the sun and lots of water."

So if you plan on enjoying the sun this week, experts say it is not safe to secure yourself or your kids to anything as a floatation device.

The Sparks Fire Department said they also expect several rescue calls from the Sparks Marina this summer, so they will also have rescue training there.
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