CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The summer season is in full swing and visitors to area lakes continue to increase, especially with the July 4th weekend approaching. Duke Energy encourages those enjoying water activities to remain vigilant and put safety first.
"We have seen an increase in the number of drownings and boating incidents this year," said Scott Jolley, public safety and recreation planning project manager for Duke Energy. "Hot, sunny weather continues to bring people out to the lakes. We ask folks to keep an eye out for friends and family, speak up if you see something unsafe and remember to focus on safety while swimming or recreating this summer."
Life jackets are essential for water safety, especially for children and inexperienced swimmers. Whether swimming or boating, wearing a properly fitting life jacket is essential and can save a life.
"We encourage visitors to take advantage of the life jacket loaner board program offered at some Duke Energy access areas," said Jolley. "The life jackets can be borrowed for free, and they could help save a life."
Additional safety tips:
- Take swimming lessons.
- Never swim alone or at night.
- The lake bottom is not generally visible and the depth can change unexpectedly with dropoffs, carefully explore the bottom before wading or jumping into the water.
- Lake temperature changes, currents and underwater hazards can make lakes on a river system particularly dangerous.
- Remember that health conditions, fatigue and lake temperature changes can cause cramping.
- Avoid alcohol use, this can impair both swimming skills and judgment, and increase dehydration.
- Keep a life line with a throw ring nearby which you can throw out to a swimmer who may appear to be in trouble. Consider taking turns swimming with one person on the shoreline available to throw out the lifeline or seek help.
- Let someone know where you are and look out for others in your group.
- Only swim and dive in designated areas.
Swimmers should also check weather and water conditions before getting into the lake.
Life jacket loaner board locations
Life jackets in a variety of sizes are available for temporary use. Visitors may check out a life jacket at no charge and then return it to the kiosk when done. Life jacket loaner boards are run on an honor system, and availability will vary.
Catawba-Wateree Lakes (NC and SC):
- Beatty’s Ford Access Area – Coming July 2015
Mountain Island Lake
- Riverbend Access Area
- Neck Road Access Area
- Buster Boyd Access Area
- Ebenezer Access Area
- South Point Access Area
- June Creek Access Area
- Taylors Creek Access Area
- Colonel’s Creek Access Area
- Wateree Creek Access Area
Keowee-Toxaway Lakes (SC):
- South Cove Access Area
- High Falls Access Area
- Devil’s Fork State Park – Coming Soon
Nantahala Lakes (NC):
- Pines Recreation Area
Duke Energy Progress Lakes (NC):
- Hyco Lake Park Swimming Area
Real-time lake level information, scheduled flow release times and public access locations are available 24/7 at www.duke-energy.com/lakes/, which is configured for smart phones. For questions, please call Duke Energy Lake Services at 1-800-443-5193.
For more access area information and locations, visit www.duke-energy.com/lakes/default.asp.
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $120 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.