Five drownings occur on Lake Logan Martin - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Five drownings occur on Lake Logan Martin

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ST. CLAIR COUNTY-AL - In St. Clair county, there have been a record number of drownings, five, so far this summer on Lake Logan Martin. Law enforcement don't want there to be a sixth.

Marine police in Pell City say most of these deaths can be prevented by taking simple steps. They urge people to be vigilant.

"We've had some swimming drownings, we've had some accidental, falling off a dock," says Justin Cooper, a Pell City marine police officer.

He's alarmed by the five drownings that have taken place so far this summer on Lake Logan Martin. 

"I would hope that people become a little more aware and be more cautious," Cooper says.

The department steps up patrols on the lake during the summer.  While the lake is a popular place for people to take a dip, it's also more dangerous than a swimming pool. 

"There's so many unknowns. For one, you can't see the bottom in this lake. So you don't know if you're stepping into a foot of silt, or if there's stumps involved, wildlife. There's all kinds of unknowns."

Many drownings take place with big crowds present. He says it's important to swim in numbers, keeping an eye on those you're with. 

"Always swim in twos, if you're going swimming, don't swim alone. When you're dealing with kids, never leave them. Never leave their side. Always have someone with you, helping you watch, especially on crowded beaches."

 Drownings among youth are most common.

In fact, the CDC reports that male children between the ages of one and four make up 80 percent of drowning deaths.

One of the five drownings on Logan Martin was a child.

Cooper says a common misconception is that someone will be splashing and waving their arms if they are drowning. 

"A lot of times they don't have the opportunity to raise their hands, they don't think quick enough and it's too late by the time somebody realizes it," says Cooper.

The best way to prevent a drowning death: wear a personal floatation device.

"It's kind of like driving in your car and not wearing your seat belt. I know, as adults, we're all out there and we don't think we need it. Some of these things are unpreventable, but life jackets would definitely help and would have prevented some of these situations."


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