WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some western Massachusetts will be trying to beat the heat this weekend by going out on the water, or swimming.

But, whether you are taking the boat out of the marina, kayaking in a lake, or lucky enough to have your pool open early this weekend; you’ll want to make sure you are being safe out on the water.

“Most pools will probably not be open yet so people looking to cool off, I imagine they will be looking for the natural bodies of water,” said Lt. Anthony Spear of the West Springfield Fire Department. ” He recommends, “It’s important to be familiar with the body of water you are swimming in, beware of currents, beware of depth, and know your own skill.”

According to the CDC, there are nearly 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings a year, and factors include not being able to swim, lack of supervision, and not wearing life jackets.

Some water safety tips include:

  • Never swim alone, and make sure their is a lifeguard present
  • Don’t drink alcohol or use drugs before and while swimming or boating
  • Avoid swimming in water with strong moving currents
  • If you are a strong swimmer, keep to shallow areas or use a U.S. Coast Guard-guard approved life jacket

Don’t forget; this may be a good time to take a CPR course. CPR could save someone’s life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.