With start of summer, heed water safety rules

Published online: Jun 23, 2011 News www.masslive.com
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There are few things more inviting than a boat ride on a lake or a dip in a pool when the summer season comes rolling along. 

But pleasure can quickly turn to tragedy as it did on Sunday when 22-year old Larry Cauley of Suffield, either jumped or fell from a pontoon boat on the 
Congamond Lakes Middle Pond in Southwick. Cauley's body was pulled from 35 feet of water just after noon on Monday by state and environmental police after scouring the water nearly 36 hours. 

According to police there were 13 people on the pontoon boat when Cauley fell or jumped. Three people jumped in after him with a life preserver, but they were unable to reach him because it was dark. 

On April 14, another man drowned in 
Five Mile Pond after a canoe he was in overturned. 

Both incidents offer a somber reminder that some of the most enticing swimming and boating spots in Western Massachusetts are fraught with danger unless safety precautions are taken. 

Boating and swimming spots in the Pioneer Valley - from the Connecticut and Westfield Rivers to the Congamond and Five Mile Ponds - pose risks to even the most accomplished swimmers. 

Every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, according to the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14, the CDC reports. 


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