As we close out the warm summer months this Labor Day weekend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District encourages everyone to not end this summer as a statistic and to practice water safety this weekend, a press release states.

"We urge visitors to be vigilant, understand the importance of water safety and to expect the unexpected in and around the water," the release states. "Always wear your life jacket. Wearing a life jacket can increase the chance of survival drastically, so when swimming, wading, floating, or playing in open water please wear a life jacket that fits properly."

There are many different styles of life jackets suitable for different uses. The Army Corps recommends everyone be sure to select the proper life jacket for each water activity.

Another tip is to inspect safety equipment before leaving this weekend. If the equipment is broken or damaged it may not function as intended and may leave individuals in a poor situation, the release states. Safety equipment can include life jackets, batteries, fire extinguishers, ropes, lights, horns, blower motor and first aid kits.

The Corps release says to check the weather forecast, water conditions and the status of the destination. The Midwest is known for rapid weather changes. Don’t get caught on the water in serve weather, the release states, plan accordingly and be prepared for sudden changes.

“Whether kayaking, swimming or fishing, we want all our visitors to exercise good judgment when on or around the water,” says Angelia Lentz, Tuttle Creek Lake natural resource specialist. “We encourage everyone to wear a life jacket and to remember that boating and alcohol are a bad combination. We want all our visitors to have a great time, but the most important thing is their safety.”

When around the water always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly, the release continues. For more water safety information visit or follow www.pleasewearit.com.

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