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Posted on: July 21, 2022

Joint statement on water safety in the City and County of Kenosha

Photo of Lake Michigan

Following the second drowning of a child in Kenosha County in a week, County Executive Samantha Kerkman and Mayor John Antaramian are joining together in reminding the community to be alert and exercise caution while swimming — no matter where they are.

An 8-year-old girl drowned Tuesday evening while in a roped-off, designated swimming area on Powers Lake in far-western Kenosha County.

One week earlier, on the opposite end of the county, a 5-year-old boy was pronounced dead after he was pulled from the water in Lake Michigan, near the mouth of the Pike River.

“My heart goes out to both of these families,” Kerkman said. “These tragedies underscore that this is a countywide issue. Whether it’s Lake Michigan or our inland lakes, water safety is something that must be kept top of mind while swimming, for people of all ages.”

“It is sad and shocking to hear about another drowning this week in Kenosha County. I send my sincere sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones,” said Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian. “It is a sobering reminder that everyone needs to be mindful of water safety.”

A few basic water safety tips from the American Red Cross:

  • Ensure every member of your family learns to swim so they at least achieve skills of water competency: Able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance, and then get out of the water safely.
  • Employ layers of protection including barriers to prevent access to water, lifejackets, and close supervision of children to prevent drowning.
  • Know what to do in a water emergency — including how to safely help someone in trouble in the water, calling for emergency help, and CPR.

More information is available at https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html.

The Kenosha Safety Around Water Coalition, an organization organized by the Kenosha YMCA, has also published a series of water safety articles. These are available at https://www.kenoshaymca.org/news/.

Kerkman and Antaramian encourage those who have been affected by these and other drowning events — or any other tragedy — to access behavioral health services that are available in the community.

For more information, contact the Kenosha County Mental Health Resource Center at 262-764-8555.

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