Rescuers get head start on water safety training

Participants in water safety training paddle around at the Carson Valley Swim Center.

Participants in water safety training paddle around at the Carson Valley Swim Center.


Determining that several gallons of prevention is worth the effort, more than 100 children and their parents were taught the basics of water safety by members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team last weekend.

“These types of training events are considered preventative Search and Rescue activities – if they lead to saving one life or making it easier for DCSAR to safely complete a rescue mission, then the time is well worth it,” team members said.

Participants in the Aug. 20 training at Carson Valley Swim Center included junior lifeguards swim lesson attendees, Cub and Girl Scouts.

“The students were taught how to safely enter and exit a raft, defensive swimming tactics, how to avoid debris and strainers in a river, what to do when unable to exit a river, and how to safely catch a rope thrown by Search and Rescue personnel during a rescue and be pulled to shore,” officials said.

Students also learned the importance of wearing a life jacket.

The night before the July 21 session, Douglas rescuers helped find a jet skier who’d spent hours in the water after falling in.

“Because he wore a personal floatation device, he was saved and did not drown – something that is a familiar result when lifejackets are not worn around lakes and rivers,” officials said. “This provided emphasis for the students on the importance of a PFD for their safety and the safety of adults that are with them.”

Carson Valley Swim Center Supervisor Sarah Davenport thanked the team.

“We are so thankful to have Douglas County Search and Rescue partner with us during the summer months for both our swim lesson program as well as our junior lifeguard program,” she said.

East Fork Swimming Pool District Chairman Frank Dressel agreed.

“These programs are so important for our community to be educated on how to react and survive in the various water scenarios throughout our valley,” he said. “(Search and Rescue) does an excellent job in teaching these water safety skills, which one day will save a life.”

The search and rescue team is made up entirely of volunteers.

Anyone interested in supporting the team via donation should visit and follow the links to the donation page.


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