(UNDATED) – Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reminding the public that safety is a priority when recreating on or near water.
Drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages one to four, and it’s one of the top causes of death in teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
This past Sunday, an eight-year-old Athena Welch from Brazil, Indiana, died. She was seen struggling in the water near the Mansfield Covered Bridge when she went under the water. She was rescued and later died at the hospital.
DNR says that even strong swimmers and experienced boaters need to be reminded of potential water hazards and that you should always remember these basic safety tips.
- You should always wear a life jacket, and steer clear of the water if you can’t swim.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return
- Always swim with a buddy
- Never venture around flooded or fast-moving waterways
- Avoid alcohol
“We want all of the Hoosiers in Indiana to go out and enjoy themselves outdoors. Obviously, that’s near and dear to our hearts. We just want everyone to do it in a safe way. Take the extra time to plan before you go. Have those conversations with the family members about the dangers of water” said Conservation Officer Corporal Jet Quillen.