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Posted 8/23/2013

Release no. 13-092

Jamie Richmond

Arkabutla Lake, Miss … The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) at Arkabutla Lake is preparing for the 2013 Labor Day Weekend. The lake staff would like to remind you of some water safety tips at the close of the summer.

Knowing some of the facts about drowning may help save your life or the life of someone you love. According to Corps statistics, the majority of people (89 percent) who drown are male, 39 percent are 18-35 years old, 24 percent are 36-53 years old and 89 percent of the people who die in water-related accidents were not wearing a life jacket. More than 90 percent of the people who die in boating-related accidents had not taken a boating safety course.

TIP: Are You Next? Expect the Unexpected and Wear Your Life Jacket! The question is “Are You Next?” You could be the next person to drown if you don’t play it safe. Your best defense against the unexpected is a life jacket. Wear your life jacket and encourage those you love to wear one too.  

TIP:  Learn to swim well and swim with a buddy. It only takes an average of 20 seconds for a child to drown and 60 seconds for an adult. Never let your children swim by themselves. Adult supervision is a must to ensure you don’t lose the ones you love. Swimming ability decreases with age, so even if you are a strong swimmer, wear your life jacket especially in open water conditions.

TIP:  Many people who drown never intended to enter the water and they drown within 10-30 feet of safety. Sixty percent of the time people who drown were either witnessed by someone or there were people in the area that could have helped save them.

TIP: Learn to identify the four signs of a person who is drowning. The drowning signs are head back, mouth open, no sound and arms slapping the water in an up and down motion.  

TIP: The proper ways to rescue someone in the water that is in distress are to reach, throw,  row and don’t go. Reach something out to the person without endangering yourself, throw them something that floats, row your boat close to the person with the motor off. Never attempt an in-water rescue unless you are trained to do so. Instead, go for help or send someone else for help.   Oftentimes a double-drowning occurs when someone enters the water to attempt a rescue because a person fighting for their life is extremely strong and in order to stay afloat they will hold the person who is trying to help them underwater.    

TIP: Take a boater safety course and boat with a buddy. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 93 percent of the people that died in a boating accident were on vessels where the operator had not taken a NASBLA-approved boater safety course. There are online courses available at . U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary  and U.S. Power Squadrons  offer courses in most states. As a bonus, many insurance companies offer reduced rates for taking a boating safety course. 

      Arkabutla is famous for its large crappie; it is not unusual for a stringer of crappie to have several slabs weighing over three pounds each. Arkabutla Lake also provides diverse habitats and homes for numerous species of plants and animals.    

      There are three Class A Campgrounds with 230 campsites complete with electricity, water, showers, flush comfort stations, and dump stations. These campgrounds are located at Dub Patton, Hernando Point, and South Abutment Recreation Areas. Arkabutla Lake also offers primitive campsites for the more rugged camper at South Outlet, Pleasant Hill and Kelley’s Crossing Recreation Areas.  

      There are two developed sand beaches, one at Hernando Point, the other at South Abutment. The beaches are complete with safety buoys to separate the swimmers from the boaters, depth markers, and rescue devices. 

      During the summer months, Arkabutla Lake is at recreational pool, which allows for over 11,000 acres of water for boating, skiing, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, or fishing enthusiasts. There are eight boat ramps (Coldwater Point is free) each at different locations to allow for water access. Currently Arkabutla Lake is at near normal recreational pool.            

      There are other amenities at Arkabutla such as picnic facilities and eight picnic shelters (seven available for reservations), nature/hiking/bicycling/horseback riding trails, playgrounds, 18 hole disc golf course and acres of public land and water for outdoor fun.

      The Arkabutla Lake staff would like to invite you to visit us. You can contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at (662) 562-6261 if you want additional information.

      Arkabutla Lake is located approximately 30 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee. Although the primary mission of Arkabutla Lake is flood damage risk reduction, over 1 million individuals visit the 30,000-acre recreational area annually to enjoy the camping, playgrounds, swimming areas, several types of trails, fishing, boat ramps and marinas. The lake traffic brings approximately $20 million to the local economy and supports approximately 250 jobs. Arkabutla Lake is one of the four lakes in north Mississippi maintained and operated by the Corps’ Vicksburg District. Information on Corps lakes and recreational areas can be found on the Vicksburg District Operations Division’s website.