Following Haverhill Drowning and Other Near-Fatal Incidents, DA Tucker Offers Safety Reminders

Several Massachusetts State Police troopers and dive team members recently joined Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker and Lisa Nerich from Lynn’s Department of Parks and Recreation in sharing safe swimming tips at a Learn to Swim program with children and their families at Lynn Vocational and Technical High School. (Courtesy photograph.)

In light of fatal and near-fatal drownings recently in Haverhill and other area communities, Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker rolled out an appeal Monday for residents to take certain swimming precautions.

Tucker reminded residents of all ages not to swim alone. Parents of very young children can help ensure their safety, he advised, by installing fencing or barriers that prevents access to a pool when parents are not present to supervise.

Parents of older kids should discuss the importance of staying out of the water when a responsible adult overseer is not present. Be it at the beach or a pool, Tucker also cautioned parents about the dangers of diffusion of water safety responsibility, as there can be a tendency in larger groups and gatherings to assume that someone else will see an issue or raise an alarm if there is a problem.

“When it’s everybody’s job to monitor kids in the pool, unfortunately it can become nobody’s job,” he explained. “So, one of the most impactful water safety practices parents can implement is making sure that, at any given time, a single, responsible, and focused water safety monitor is assigned.”

Tucker also suggested water safety monitors be familiar with the signs of drowning, which often do not match the splashing and screaming depictions of drowning in movies and on TV.

“If a swimmer is quiet or in distress, ask if they are okay,” Tucker advised. “If they cannot verbally respond with an affirmation that they are doing well, take immediate action and assume it is a drowning risk unless or until proven otherwise.”

Swimmers of all ages can help prevent unexpected issues by keeping a flotation device on hand while in the water.

Comments are closed.