The dangers of swimming in undesignated zones at lakes and rivers

Photo Credit: WWLP

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Cooling off in the nearest river may sound tempting as the summer heats up, but 22News is working for you with why it’s critical to pay attention to where it’s safe to swim and where it’s not.

Zulma Dejesus of Chicopee said, “Something should be done, but the parents should be involved because it’s such a scary situation.”

The state’s department of conservation and recreation say the difference between a designated swimming area and a non-designated swimming area is that there’s no life guard on duty.

The waters also aren’t tested for things like bacteria that could make you sick if you swallow the water.

Some of the biggest dangers of swimming in an undesignated swimming zone is what lies beneath the water. You might be standing in what seems to be 3-4 feet, but one misstep, and suddenly you’re in 8-10 feet.

Josephine Frederick of Chicopee said, “There’s so many kids that you hear about drowning. I mean, they don’t know what they’re hitting and jumping into. I just think it’s foolish.”

Fire and police departments say regardless of your skill level, you should never swim in an area that’s off limits.  Use the buddy system, have children wear U.S. coast guard approved life jackets, and never swim when drinking alcohol.

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