Press Releases

USACE encourages boaters, swimmers to wear life jackets

Published May 12, 2014

MOBILE, Ala. – As we embark on the summer months and the Memorial Day Holiday weekend comes closer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District continues to encourage everyone to practice water safety by wearing a life jacket.

“Before you head out for a day on or near the water, we encourage everyone to please wear life jackets,” Lance Davis, a public affairs specialist for USACE Mobile District, said. “On average, 9 out of 10 people who drowned at a Corps of Engineers lake or river project didn’t wear a life jacket. Life jackets save lives by keeping you afloat and providing time for rescue.”

Most people who drown never intended to be in the water; they unexpectedly fell from a boat or dock into the water. When this happens, a person will reflexively gasp and can inhale up to one liter of water and drown in less than a minute.

Others get into trouble swimming out to retrieve a boat that floated away, or swimming in association with a boat. Swimming in natural waters is not the same as swimming in a pool. Even strong swimmers can get into danger and be gone within seconds. It takes an adult 60 seconds to drown and a child 20 seconds to drown. Swimming ability also decreases with age.

Swim at a designated swim beach. These areas have been inspected to provide a safe swimming environment. At all Corps of Engineers beaches, you swim at your own risk so adults please watch your children, because most people drowned within 10 feet of safety.  Many shorelines at Corps of Engineers lake and river projects have drop offs and you can be in water over your head instantly or pulled under by the current. 

Expect the unexpected and wear the right fit and type of life jacket – 9 out of 10 people, who drowned, didn’t.

For more information about water safety, visit and click recreation to find a Mobile District-managed Corps lake project near you; or go to to locate any Corps lake project in the U.S.



Lance D. Davis

Release no. 14-011