Park rangers advise swimmers to use caution when swimming in lakes this summer

Posted: 2:58 PM, May 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-25 01:31:44Z

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are reminding swimmers to be cautious when visiting lakes this summer.

They recommend swimmers to stay in the designated swimming area, which is enclosed by a yellow marker. Although swimmers can swim anywhere they want, it is recommended, and safer, to swim in the designated area.

Park Ranger Courtney Heuring said the swimming area is inspected by rangers every year before the parks open and is up to 8-feet-deep.

"The swimming area gets designated because it gets inspected every year," Heuring said. "This area is free of debris and objects that could be there from the flood. They are going to be more shallow and with no steep drop-offs."

McLennan County resident Sherri Moody who was at Airport Beach Park on Tuesday is taking steps to keep her children and her friends safe. She watches them swim in the shallow part of the designated swim area of that beach. 

"Outside the yellow band, (park rangers) are not familiar with it. If they're not familiar with it, I don't feel comfortable sending my kids out there," Moody said.

Heuring who patrols that area often said it can be dangerous if people go beyond the yellow marker.

"Because of the heavy flooding we had in the past couple years, there is a lot of debris that you can get caught up in. The designated area is the only area where we can say it's 100 percent free from objects and debris," Heuring said.

On Memorial Day, 19-year-old Christopher Wayne Sharp died after drowning at the Twin Bridges Park. Waco Police said the victim swam past the area for safe swimming when he went under water.

A balloon release has been set for June 3 at 7:30 p.m. in honor of Sharp outside of Connally High School. 

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