Water Safety | St. Louis Public Radio

Water Safety

Seventeen people lost their lives in last summer's duck boat tragedy on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

Last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of a tragic accident that killed 17 people near Branson, Missouri, one of the state’s biggest family-vacation destinations. The drownings occurred when a Ride the Ducks boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake in neighboring Stone County.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Branson Mayor Edd Akers and Fire Chief Ted Martin talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jeremy D. Goodwin. They looked back on the day of the tragedy and also discussed efforts to support victims and their families and bring healing to the Branson community.

Beating the heat
File photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Memorial Day marks the opening of many pools and lakes, and water safety advocates are urging Missourians to keep themselves and their children safe from drowning this season.

Swim lessons can keep many people safe, but knowing how to swim is only one part of drowning prevention, said aid Karen Cohn, founder of the Zac Foundation, a water safety organization.

It’s not enough to read by the pool, Cohn said. Adults need to pay attention when children are in the water. She recommends having a designated “water watcher.”

“We assume that people know about water safety,” Cohn said. “We assume it’s common sense, but it's not.”

Joining Don Marsh (at left) for a conversation about pool safety this week were (from center left) Emily Wujcik, Stephe McCormick, Birch McMullin and Lisa McMullin.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Many years have passed since one of Lisa McMullin’s children tragically drowned during a family pool party on a warm September day back in 1982. Yet her memory of what occurred is still vivid.

“Nicholas got up from his nap – all the kids but one were out of the pool – and somehow he fell in,” she recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “There were adults there, there were children there, but if there’s not a designated person to watch, you can have a situation like that all too easily. And it happens very fast. It happens silently, almost invisibly, and so I feel very strongly about sharing that story in order to help other parents avoid that situation.”