Local News

For Children's Sake, Parents Need a Watchful Eye

Posted July 1, 2000

— Park rangers at Jordan Lake say alcohol abuse is the most common reason adults drown at the lake. But when it comes to children, it's lack of parental supervision.

When Joel Deese comes to the lake with his family, he doesn't take his eyes off his daughters.

"I don't read (books or magazines) out here. There's too much going on, too many things can happen," he says.

His youngest daughter once slipped through an inner tube. Fun in the sun could have turned tragic.

It was enough of a scare to keep Mom and Dad on constant guard.

"It's a playground, a pool without sides. They don't understand the concept of drowning, of being hit by a boat. It's up to us as parents to keep them safe," Amelia Deese said.

With no lifeguards on duty at Jordan Lake, it definitely is up to parents to be on watch.

"To hire enough lifeguards to cover our areas would take more than 45, and there's no way we can recruit that many lifeguards," declares park superintendent Bill Totten.

Some state parks with controlled access points do have lifeguards. Lake Jordan isn't one of them.

Les Miller's two children know how to swim. But with the wakes of boats, and waves of swimmers, he's always in the water with them.

"If I'm not right there with them something could happen in a split of a second," Miller said.

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