SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – As Memorial Day weekend approaches, many families across the Upstate and Western North Carolina will likely incorporate pools, lakes or rivers in their plans.
While pools and bodies of water offer entertainment and relief from the heat, however, experts suggest exercising caution.
According to the CDC, roughly 4,000 people die by drowning in America each year.
The agency suggested swimming lessons for those uncomfortable around water and life jackets for all partaking in recreation on boats and jet skis.
The agency advised against alcohol and drug use, which have been found to increase the risk of drowning.
“We want everyone to be as safe as possible,” said Kristen Guilfoos, Spartanburg County Parks Marketing Manager.
Guilfoos said the county parks will begin offering kayak and paddleboard rentals at Lake Cooley Memorial Day weekend.
Rentals are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at 100 Cooley Dock Road, Inman.
Life jackets are available for adults who rent kayaks or paddleboards. Parents of young children should bring life jackets for their children.
“A general rule of thumb is that whatever your t-shirt size is, it’s most likely the life jacket size that you’ll need,” Guilfoos said. “The telltale sign if it fits properly or not is if you take your thumbs and try to raise the straps of that life jacket, as long as it doesn’t go above your earlobes, you’re in good shape.”