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Park rangers give safety tips after recent lake drowning

POSTED: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 4:37pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO --  Searching for drowning victims is the hardest part of the job for Park Ranger James Morris.

"None of us want to have that happen but if we have to, we are trained to work with it."

Last Friday, they had to do just that when a Waco teen, 18-year-old Atahualpa Rosas, drowned in the lake.

"There's no age limit. There's no experience level. Experienced swimmers drown; things happen," says Morris.

Mother of two, Lisa Flag, says news of the recent drowning has her on high alert.

"It concerns me, and it also puts in my maternal instincts to really put my eye on them," says Flag.

As the heat draws families to the shore, park rangers are hoping to prevent any more tragedies. They are telling everyone to stay within designated swimming areas, avoid alcohol and wear a life jacket.

Most importantly, the life jacket needs to fit properly, or it won't work.

Families like Graciela Gonzales and her nieces take an extra step for safety, showing up early when no one else is around.

"I want to be sure that I know where they are and I can see them. You know, I don't want them to be in the crowd and then lose them," says Gonzales.

Ranger Morris says if someone is struggling to swim, do not go in to save them.

"They're panicky; they're scared, they're going to pull you under also."

Instead, Morris says throw them something and call for help.

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