This summer make safety at the rivers, oceans and lagoons a top priority. Local waterways are cold and have swift currents, which can pose threats to even the strongest swimmers. Remember these tips for staying safe near water:
- Wear a life jacket. Unlike other floatation devices, life jackets are specifically designed to keep the head above water. Always use a life jacket that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
- Water and alcohol don’t mix. Up to 70% of all recreational drowning incidents involve alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- At the river, be aware of hazards below the surface of the water. Trees, rocks and sunken objects are likely and can move after high flows. A location that was safe could be dangerous during your next visit.
- At the ocean, choose flat beaches over those with steep slopes. Watch for sneaker waves and keep your distance from the water’s edge.
Humboldt County has lifejacket loan stations at popular locations throughout the county:
- W. Way County Park, 36594 Mattole Road, Petrolia, CA
- Big Lagoon Park, 510 Big Lagoon Park Rd., Trinidad, CA
- Dream Quest, 100 Country Club Drive, Willow Creek, CA
- Eureka National Weather Service Office, 300 Startare Drive, Eureka, CA
- Freshwater Park, CALL TO INQUIRE, 3100 Freshwater Road, Eureka, CA
- Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, CALL TO INQUIRE, 16949 Highway 36, Carlotta, CA
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CALL TO INQUIRE, Burlington Visitors Center, Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA
- Richardson Grove State Park, CALL TO INQUIRE, 1600 Highway 101, Garberville, CA
- Tsewenaldin Inn, 12400 Highway 96, Hoopa, CA
- Tsunami Surf & Sport, 445 Conger Street, Building B, Garberville, CA
- Van Duzen County Park, Swimmer's Delight Park Drive, Carlotta, CA
For more information, visit humboldtgov.org/LifeJacketLoanProgram, humboldtgov.org/watersafetyprogram or call the Department of Health & Human Services Healthy Communities Division of Public Health at 707-268-2132.
Follow us on Twitter: @HumCoDHHS and