In light of two recent drownings this week in non-lifeguarded areas at Lake Del Valle Regional Recreation Area in Livermore, the East Bay Regional Park District is again urging visitors to learn how to be water safe if you’re planning to go swimming or boating in a regional lake or water facility.
“Keeping visitors safe is our number one priority at East Bay Regional Parks, whether you’re on land or water. We want people to enjoy their experience at our parks,” said Robert Doyle, General Manager, “and we want our visitors to go home safely at the end of their visit. It’s imperative for people using the Park District’s water facilities and lakes to know how to stay safe when boating or swimming.”
Here are some tips provided by the Park District’s Aquatics Manager Pete DeQuincy.
Water Safety Tips:
- Keep a close eye on your children. Drowning can occur quickly and silently, even in a foot of water.
- DO NOT drink alcohol if you plan on swimming or boating.
- Obey all rules and posted signs.
- Only swim in areas with a lifeguard on duty.
- If you’re not a strong swimmer, take swim lessons. The Park District offers swim lessons throughout the summer.
- Swim with a buddy and don’t engage in horseplay in the water.
- If you’re unsure of your swimming abilities, wear a life jacket. Regional park swim facilities has free loaner life jackets available. Boaters should always wear a life jacket.
- Children 12 years old and under are not permitted in the swimming area unless accompanied by a responsible, actively-supervising individual 16 years old or older.
- No lifeguard service is provided at bay beaches.
- Swimming at your own risk is allowed in designated areas and when lifeguards are off duty at some parks.
East Bay Regional Park District provides life-guarded lakes and swim facilities from April – September. “While some 120 lifeguards patrol our swim beaches and lagoons, water safety should be a serious concern for every person entering our parks,” says DeQuincy. “Our lifeguards are trained rescuers not babysitters. We often find unattended youngsters around water. Ultimately, we want to see happy families go home together after a fun day at the park.”
For more information on East Bay Regional Parks or safety messages, please visit our website, ebparks.org.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional parks system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and nature learning. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.