Letter of the Day (May 28): Water safety and rescue strategies

  • Updated: May 27, 2014 - 6:15 PM

Reach, throw, row, don’t go.


Photo: Stephanie Ariganello • Associated Press,

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This past weekend’s drowning tragedy of a young man trying to help a boy struggling in the St. Croix River should remind us all of the following sequence for rescuing a person in danger of drowning: REACH, THROW, ROW, DON’T GO. When you see a person struggling to stay afloat, yell at them to help direct them to shore or to a boat. Reach out to the person with an oar, a branch, a pole or anything that they can grab. Toss them an object that floats, such a buoy, a boat cushion, a rope or a line, making sure not to hit them on the head. Only use a boat to rescue them if it’s safe to do so, and do not operate the boat’s motor next to the victim. Do NOT enter the water unless you are trained in water rescue, so you don’t become another drowning victim.

Always remember to wear your life jacket while on a boat, and stay safe so you can enjoy being on the water for many years to come.

Nick Rowse, Burnsville

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