What to know: Water safety for 4th of July Weekend

Dangers lie on the water and within it as well
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - When you think of a picture-perfect holiday weekend, a lake full of boats may come to mind, but when it comes to mother nature, nothing is perfect.

“A person can disappear in just an instant and be gone forever,” Texas Game Warden Eddie Hood said.

At Lake Arrowhead where Hood helps patrol, there have already been two drowning-related deaths this year alone.

“Both of them had to do with people going into the water after objects that were of no value. Both of them had alcohol consumption as well,” Hood said.

Hood said in addition to having a designated driver, make an onboard checklist for the following items: life jackets, type-4 throwables or other types of flotation devices, your registration card, and a fire extinguisher.

These items not only help you avoid fines, they help avoid deaths.

“Lakes depths are unpredictable,” Hood said.

And there are other things to look out for on water as well; things you can’t even see but can prove to be the deadliest.

“The disease is called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis,” City of Wichita Falls Waste and Water Management Coordinator Daniel Nix said.

And when temperatures heat up bodies of water, this water-borne disease is specifically lethal to only children.

“It can actually penetrate the sinus cavity into the olfactory nerve to the base of the brain where it starts consuming the brain material and spinal fluid and causes encephalitis or a swelling of the brain,” Nix said.

The disease is 99% percent fatal and in 1999-2000 in Wichita County, three different children fell victim.

“You can enjoy area lakes, just teach your children to protect their nose and don’t get this forcibly injected in your sinus cavity,” Nix said.

So, before you go off to celebrate our country’s birthday out on the lake, go through the precautions so you can continue to enjoy your birthday and others as well.

“You get a bit of satisfaction when you make it through a holiday weekend without anybody getting hurt or injured or losing a life,” Hood said.

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