Benton County Sheriff’s Office Offers Swimming Safety Tips After Recent Drownings

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM)-- After recent drownings in both Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, the Benton County Sheiriff's Office offered some safety advice when swimming.

Sergeant Shannon Jenkins with the sheriff's office said some of their tips are simple but still need to be followed.

She said to have a life jacket or some sort of inflatable nearby.

It could just be a pool noodle but she advised to have something in case of an emergency.

She also said to have a plan and know the area where you are swimming.

“You’re in water conditions and the water is always an unknown especially when you’re in it and especially a river or a lake," Jenkins said. "We can’t always see where we’re at and what we’re doing and stuff like that except that you know you’re having fun.”

Which is what law enforcement agencies want. They just want to make sure people are being safe while doing it.

For some swimmers at the Siloam Springs Kayak Park, a life jacket is a necessity especially with the swift water.

Kaleb Robrahn and Kaiden Vernnon said they always follow this advice.

“When going in the swift water we put our life jackets on," Robrahn said. "We have these surfboard things, inflatables. Other than that, we just have fun.”

Markus Craig and his family are very aware of people in the are who are following these tips.

He said if he sees swimmers without a life jacket, he is on alert and ready for the worst.

“It was just last summer on down the river that I saved two little boys on Arkansas 59," Craig said. "It’s just watching out for your neighbor pretty much. Even though I don’t now anybody here, I would not let anyone get in danger if I could prevent it.”

He said the boys were not wearing life jackets and were swept away by the current.

Jenkins said if you do find yourself in that situation, don't panic.

As difficult as it might be, she said to focus on your goal, which is getting to a safe place.