Drownings Prompt Spanish-Language Signs At Jordan Lake
Posted July 7, 2003 12:02 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — The water looked calm at Jordan Lake over the weekend, but with two drownings this year, a particular stretch of the lake has proven deadly.
Park officials say they have a new way to save swimmers' lives. Warning signs posted around the lake are printed in Spanish and English.
In fact, signs in both languages are going up at all state parks. One of the new Spanish-language signs at Jordan Lake tells visitors: "Caution, unprotected area, no lifeguard on duty."
Jordan Lake is a popular spot for people of many backgrounds, but especially Hispanics.
Two people have drowned at Jordan Lake since Memorial Day. Both spoke Spanish.
It may never be known whether the new signs would have saved their lives. But at least the victims would have been able to read them.
Park Superintendent Megan Lynch hopes everyone will pay attention to the new signs.
"We have signs all over the park on different kinds of things, but people always say: 'I didn't see the sign,'" Lynch said. "But any little bit helps."
The signs certainly help. But when it comes to children, parents have a lot more work to do to make sure their kids stay safe in the water.
Lynch said parents are paying more attention, starting with life jackets.
"We've been showing a lot of people the proper way to put them on," Lynch said, "and a lot more of the Spanish-speaking families are using them now."
The Parks Department made the new safety signs out of paper to rush them out for the Fourth of July holiday. Permanent metal signs will go up once they are made.