US Army Corps of Engineers
Little Rock District Website

5 steps to reduce the risk of water-related accidents

Published Sept. 2, 2015
Facing the loss of husband and father, family members Melanie, Madeline and Kenyon willingly stepped forward to tell their story of “Being Left Behind.” The family permitted unprecedented access to the Little Rock District Water Safety Team to “share” a personal message. Posing for a family portrait, the photo was used on water safety billboards across central Arkansas. The accompanying slogan “It’s not just your life to LOSE” emphasized families also lose when a life jacket is not worn. Ken Brindley’s sacrifice, losing his life to save another, serves as an inspiration to change public attitudes toward life jacket wear when on or near the water. The family’s contributions to water safety education serve as a testament to Ken, Melanie, Madeline and Kenyon Brindley, and reflect great credit and praise for the Brindley Family. 
Ken Brindley sacrificed his life attempting to rescue a drowning man in Destin, Florida.

Facing the loss of husband and father, family members Melanie, Madeline and Kenyon willingly stepped forward to tell their story of “Being Left Behind.” The family permitted unprecedented access to the Little Rock District Water Safety Team to “share” a personal message. Posing for a family portrait, the photo was used on water safety billboards across central Arkansas. The accompanying slogan “It’s not just your life to LOSE” emphasized families also lose when a life jacket is not worn. Ken Brindley’s sacrifice, losing his life to save another, serves as an inspiration to change public attitudes toward life jacket wear when on or near the water. The family’s contributions to water safety education serve as a testament to Ken, Melanie, Madeline and Kenyon Brindley, and reflect great credit and praise for the Brindley Family. Ken Brindley sacrificed his life attempting to rescue a drowning man in Destin, Florida.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District, which covers most of Arkansas and southern Missouri, are asking everyone to practice good water safety habits this Labor Day weekend to help ensure the holiday isn’t ruined by needless injuries or death.

“Whether you’re spending a day at the lake or your own swimming pool, water safety is critical,” said Little Rock District Commander Col. Courtney W. Paul. “It may seem like overkill to some, but simply following a step-by-step process or checklist can significantly reduce your risk of a water-related accident.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, each year more than 3,400 people drown in the United States. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths for persons 1-14 years of age and the sixth leading cause for all ages.

Five steps to reduce the risk of a water-related accident.

1.     Check the weather. Forecasts can change. Keep checking.

2.     Avoid alcoholic beverages or have a sober boat or vehicle operator.

3.     Supervise children every second.  Keep them within reach.

4.     Use the buddy system.  Always swim with someone.

5.     Always wear a life jacket.

“Wearing a life jacket is the best defense against drowning,” Paul said. “Of the more than 150 Americans who drown every

year at Corps parks, on average, about 89 percent were not wearing a life jacket.”

The Corps’ National Water Safety Program website refers to alcohol as “The Fun Killer,” stating “it’s a fact; alcohol and water do not mix! More than half of all the people that are injured in a boating accident had consumed alcohol prior to their accident and 20 percent of them don’t live to tell about it.”

Corps officials would also like to remind visitors that if they forget their life jacket or need to borrow one, many of the Corps’ parks offer a life jacket loaner station. All you have to do is borrow the life jacket for the day and return it when you’re finished.

Little Rock District offers public parks at 12 lakes in Arkansas and Missouri and all along the Arkansas River in Arkansas. Among the lakes are Beaver, Blue Mountain, Bull Shoals, Clearwater, DeQueen, Dierks, Gillham, Greers Ferry, Millwood, Nimrod, Norfork, and Table Rock. 

A complete list of life jacket loaner stations and additional water safety information can be found on the Corps’ website at www.swl.usace.army.mil



Contact
Jay Townsend
501-324-5551
randall.townsend@usace.army.mil
or
Laurie Driver
501-324-5551
laurie.t.driver@usace.army.mil

Release no. 15-079