Jun

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : June 19, 2014

Life jackets prevent most drowning deaths

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Boating is one of the key attractions and pastimes for Cedar Creek Lake residents and visitors. Being prepared and equipped with the right information can save boaters many headaches, or in a worst case scenario, their life.
The easiest and first step all boaters can take to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers is have a life jacket available for everyone.
So far in 2014, there have been two boating deaths on Cedar Creek Lake and in both cases the operator was reported to have not been wearing a life jacket. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) published a recreational boating statistics report in 2012 that stated 83 percent of boating-related drowning death victims did not wear a life jacket.
According to Cedar Creek Lake USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 5-14 member Jim Salzmann, life jackets are the first line of defense.
“Everyone needs to wear a life jacket,” Salzmann told The Monitor. “If there is a boating accident and the victim is without a life jacket and are far from shore, there is a good chance he or she won’t make it back alive.”
Salzmann said all boaters need to follow a simple checklist before leaving dock. Things all boaters should double-check are:
• Make sure the vessel is in good working condition via a safety inspection,
• Bring life jackets for each person on the vessel,
• Have a throwable floating device with a line tied to it. It should be easily accessible to throw to an overboard passenger and
•Be sure the boat has proper lighting to see the water. Bring a flashlight with fresh batteries for night expeditions.
Other things to square away before venturing out on to the water include:
• A working horn (especially at night for poor visibility)
• Favorable weather conditions,
• An anchor,
• First-aid kit,
• Tool kit,
• Water bailing device and
• Fresh water to drink.
Salzmann said it’s important to let someone know about your float plan, including information such as where you are headed and how long you expect to be gone. He also recommends bringing a Very High Frequency Radio to contact Flotillia volunteers and a fully charged cell phone to call the county sherriff’s office or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Another danger that is easily overlooked? Running out of gas on the water. Salzman says it happens all the time, though it is preventable. “A good rule of thumb for gas is, 1/3 of a tank to get there, 1/3 of a tank to get back and another 1/3 spare — just in case.”
Free vessel examinations are available through the Flotilla and a passing inspection will grant the boat a safety sticker. They also offer a public boater education course once a month (see News in Briefs at left) Call the USCG Flottila at (903) 432-4490 for more information.
The 2012 recreational boating statistics report also stated that leading causes of boating accidents were “operator inattention, an improper lookout for debris and other hazards, operator inexperience, excessive speed and alcohol use.”

Jun

12

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : June 12, 2014

Monitor Photos/Summer Simpson

Monitor Photos/Summer Simpson


Kemp High School cheerleader Danika Marty (foreground) completes a round-off back for camp attendees Tuesday. The gymnastic techniques are used by cheerleaders when they perform.
More photos of this event can be found in the Sunday June 15, 2014 issue of The Monitor.

Jun

09

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : June 9, 2014

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo


Twisted Sisters batter Summer Simpson gets a hit against the Heart Beats June 2 at the Gun Barrel City Park. The Twisted Sisters won 25-2.