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Sheriff discusses summer water safety tips

Photo Dennis Phillips Boaters are pictured enjoying Chautauqua Lake last week near Stow. Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone said those looking to enjoy the lake should do so responsibly.

There are many ways to safely enjoy the water during the summer months in Chautauqua County.

The first way to enjoy boating many of the waterways in Chautauqua County is to do it responsibly, especially if you are enjoying an alcoholic beverage, said James Quattrone, Chautauqua County sheriff.

“Alcohol and water don’t always mix well,” the sheriff said. “While we want people to enjoy the waterways and lakes in the county, you still have to abide by the rules. No driving under the influence. Also, have the proper equipment and lighting, and make sure there is a life preserver for all aboard.”

Quattrone said if you’re going to be enjoying the many opened beaches in Chautauqua County, the best way is to accurately judge your child’s ability to swim.

“As for the waterfront, make sure you’re with your kids and to keep them away from the water,” he said. “If they’re not strong swimmers, make sure flotation devices are on them.”

People also need to remember water safety rules when they are around a pool, Quattrone said.

“It’s important to make sure the pool area is secured so young individuals can’t get into the pool,” he said. “Make sure if it’s an above ground pool that the ladder is up and if it’s an in-ground pool it’s properly fenced and secured. Pool alarms are also recommended in case someone would get in.”

Quattrone said as the temperatures increase during the summer to make sure people are protecting themselves with sunscreen and there is plenty of water to drink.

“We want people to enjoy the summer months and to enjoy the weather, and we are moving into the extremely hot time of the year,” he said. “Make sure people are hydrated and staying out of the heat for an extended amount of time. This is a tourist area and it’s a fun area during the summer. We want to make sure people are being responsible and not reckless out there.”

Unlike any other summer in recent times, the heat, sun and the water isn’t the only concern for people following the COVID-19 pandemic. Quattrone said Chautauqua County’s infection numbers are low compared to other areas of the country. However, he said people still need to practice common sense whenever possible.

“When you are around groups of people, wear the mask to stop the spread,” he said. “People are getting stir-crazy to do more things and we do fear that we will seen an increase in the virus if people aren’t careful.”

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