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DNR Reminds Citizens To Practice Water Safety

Child swimming in the Bay

Annapolis, Md. (May 18, 2012) – With Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer right around the corner, many people will be heading outdoors to enjoy our State’s waterways and beaches. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cautions that these areas will not be staffed with lifeguards until the Memorial Day weekend and urges everyone to be extra vigilant in and around the water.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities our State has to offer, but safety is always our first priority,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “We are asking everyone to research their activities before heading outdoors and exercise caution and good judgment when swimming, especially as State Park beaches are not yet guarded.”

The Maryland Natural Resources Police offer the following swimming safety tips:

  • Pay special attention to small children and use safety devices such as life jackets on children or other individuals who cannot swim.
  • Obey all warning signs that alert swimmers to dangers and be aware of any surrounding signs or markers that indicate current water conditions.
  • Never swim alone or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Carry a cell phone or have other ways of contacting emergency personnel if a situation arises.

If an emergency occurs, immediately call 911 and remember to Reach, Throw, Row and Go:

REACH the person in trouble by extending a releasable item, such as a pole, line or rope to pull them to safety, but not by hand as the rescuer could quickly become another victim.

THROW an object that floats to the victim if they are unreachable. A life ring, PFD, cooler or plastic jug is suitable floating objects that can keep a troubled swimmer afloat until rescues arrive.

ROW to the victim, using a canoe or any other safe watercraft. The rescuer must wear a life jacket. Once the victim is nearby, a rope or paddle should be extended and used to tow the victim to shore if possible.

GO to the victim by entering the water as a last resort and ONLY if properly trained. The rescuer should bring an object to keep the victim afloat and to prevent being pulled under.

   May 18, 2012

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8003 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation, maritime and law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at