Taking a dip in the cool water is one of the few ways to beat the summer heat, but are you doing it safely? Everyone can play an important role in saving lives around water.
The Red Cross says 85% of Americans say they can swim, but a survey found that just over half of self-described swimmers are actually able to complete five critical water safety skills that could keep you alive.
Those five skills include getting in water deeper than your head, being able to tread water or float for one minute, and then getting to an exit safely.
Drownings by the numbers
In the first six months of 2021, there have been at least two dozen drowning or near-drowning incidents in the Phoenix area.
Of those incidents, 19 of them have involved children and several have been deadly.
Five adults have also lost their lives in the water so far this year. According to the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, more adults drown every year than children in our state.
Phoenix Fire Department says drowning incidents occur more often in the West Valley where backyard pools are more prevalent, and there are more renters, visitors, and multi-generational households.
RELATED: Is your backyard pool safe?
If you see someone in distress in the water, be sure to:
Addressing the drowning crisis in the Valley
Other water safety tips