With the Independence Day holiday coming Friday, this will be one of the busiest times of the year at the region’s lakes and rivers. Army Corps of Engineers officials are advising everyone to be courteous in the parks and practice good water safety habits.
Corps park rangers caution visitors that parks, lakes and rivers will be congested this week, and they ask them to be courteous while waiting at boat ramps, sharing beaches or traveling waterways.
Corps officials would also like to remind visitors that possession of loaded firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited at Corps campsites and day use facilities. Explosive devices of any kind, including fireworks or other pyrotechnics, are also prohibited.
Park rangers will be on the lookout and expect everyone to obey rules and regulations at campsites as well as boating laws. In addition, park rangers urge people to go a step further by wearing a life jacket at all times. Even though not required of adults by law, it is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself while on, around or near water.
Wear your life jacket and encourage those you love to wear one too. Many people who drown never intend to enter the water and typically drown within 10-30 feet of safety. It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown and 60 seconds for an adult.
Life jackets loaner stations are located at some parks on Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork, Clearwater, Greers Ferry, Nimrod, Blue Mountain, Dardanelle, Millwood, Dierks, DeQueen, Greeson, Degray, Ouachita, and Gillham lakes. Several Corps parks along the Arkansas River plus the Arkansas Game and Fish boat launch ramp near Verizon Arena also have loaner stations.
For Corps news and recreation information go to www.about.me/usacelittlerock.