Sheriff urges caution when swimming in rivers, lakes

Sarpy County

Sheriff urges caution when swimming in rivers, lakes

June 12, 2020

The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office is aware that due to COVID-19 restrictions many public pools in the area may not open this summer. This has prompted people to visit other water environments, including local rivers, lakes, sand pits and other waterways.

Sheriff Jeff Davis is asking the public to take extra precautions when frequenting these areas.

• Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in:

  • Area rivers have undercurrents, sinkholes, snags and debris hidden below the water line. Recent rains have caused the rivers to rise, which causes the current to be much faster and adds debris to the water that cannot be seen.
  • Sand pits are on private property and you must have permission to use them. Sand pits can be up to 60 feet deep in spots, have uneven shorelines with sudden drop-offs and unstable shores or banks that can cave into the lake if disturbed.
  • Abandoned quarries also are on private property and require permission. They also have hidden dangers below the water line, such as rocks and tree limbs.
  • Water temperatures can vary due to the depth of the water, and hypothermia can set in quickly.

• Unlike public pools, there are no lifeguards on duty

  • Never swim alone. Always make sure there is someone watching the swimmers.

• Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size

• Know your limitations, including physical fitness and medical conditions

• Swim sober

• Know how to call for help

Sheriff Davis and the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office want you to be able to enjoy the summer safely.

Additional resources:

Swimming Safety Tips: The Red Cross offers important swimming safety tips to help you and your kids be safe this summer while in the water.
• Swimming Safely in Lakes, Rivers & Streams: Swimming in natural water environments is more challenging than home pools. Learn what to do.
• Life Jacket Safety: Ensure that you know when its appropriate to wear life jackets when in, on or around water.
National Drowning Prevention Alliance