Water Safety Programs


Top 5 Excuses Not to Wear a Life Jacket

A message from the Safe Boating Campaign.

You can still have fun on the water while wearing a life jacket and boating responsibly. Here are the top 5 excuses not to wear a life jacket we hear from boaters.

1. “I have life jackets on board.”

Having life jackets on board the vessel is not enough. Accidents happen too fast to put on a stowed life jacket.

2. “I’m a strong swimmer.”

Even a strong swimmer needs to wear a life jacket. During an emergency, clothing can become heavy or waterlogged while in the water.

3. “It’s too hot and doesn’t look cool.”

Old-fashioned, bulky orange life jackets have been replaced with new styles, like inflatable life jackets that may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. These are much cooler in the warmer weather.

4. “It gets in the way.”

There are life jacket styles available for any recreational water activity – fishing, water sports, hunting, paddling and more. There are even styles for pets!

5. “Nothing is going to happen to me.”

Face it, accidents happen. Boating can be a fun, safe and enjoyable activity, but when the “Wear It!” message is ignored, the consequences can be grim.


Excuses don't save lives, Life Jackets Do, Drop The Excuse, Wear the Jacket



All too often people drown and they could of been saved by someone less than 50 feet away from them. We have been programmed as a society to believe that someone is drowning when they are screaming, kicking and waving their arms in the water. This is NOT true. That is how television portrays drowning for dramatic affect.

True drowning looks calm compared to television images. A great article by a professional that has many years of experience in recognizing and saving drowning victims is at the link below. We urge all parents, youth and families to review the material. It may save your life or your childs life one day if your family can recognize the signs and act to come to your assistance.

Recognizing Drowning

Here is a link to the video at the bottom of the article you just read.

Drowning Video

Here are the signs of drowning from the article.

  • Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  • Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  • Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  • Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  • From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder
  • Young kids tend to look like they are trying to do a ‘dog paddle’ swim

Here are a few more links to sites with similar articles on recognizing drowning.

8 Quiet Signs of Someone Drowning

Wikipedia: Drowning

Most Adults Don't Recognize a Drowning Child

Drowning Re-enactment video for Educational Purposes


Free Post Card

Free Poster


Water Safety Videos

These videos are for public viewing and usage for educational purposes. The cartoons and PSA 1 message are viewable by all audiences. Please use discretion when viewing the Cassidy's 21st Birthday, PSA 2 and Forever 15 video. They are very serious and emotionally driven topics that many children and adults may not understand or be able to handle.

Bobber The Water Safety Dog Cartoons

Once on the site,click on Cartoons to see 5 viewable toons aimed at younger audiences.

Forever 15: PSA 1


Cassidy's 21st Birthday

Synopsis: Short story about a young lady that did not come home from her party.

Forever 15: PSA 2

"Forever 15: Tragedy on the Water"

Synopsis: A mock drowning filmed by Waco ISD film students on May 4th and the recovery operation conducted on May 22 was all part of an elaborate water safety public service announcement.



We have placed many of the new posters in and around the parks. They are blunt and to the point to remind you to be safe so you can go home alive.

Below are a few links that will allow you to view what the posters say. Keep in mind that these are only examples and the ones you see in the parks may have wording differences.


Poster 1 Poster 2 Poster 3 Poster 4 Poster 5 Poster 6


Teachers and Educational Directors !!!

If you are a teacher or educational director and need help on teaching a group of students about water safety, then please contact the lake office and speak with a Ranger. With our materials and experience we can help you put together a presentation. We can tailor material to fit most ages from pre-k to retirement.

Click on the Ranger Hat below to get a hold of a Ranger at Canyon Lake.

Click on the "Wear It!" image to go to the Safe Boating Campaign resources web site. You can get free and purchasable teaching supplies for water safety from that source.


RangerHat             WearItCampaign


Water Safety QUIZ

Click HERE to download the QUIZ and learn something new about Water Safety.

Math Problem

Click below to watch a short video on the mathematics of water recreation.

Life vests and You



To promote water safety and to help prevent accidental drownings, the Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has created a You Tube account and has posted their first video. Check it out at the link below.

Water Safety Video Messages


External Water Safety Links: Click on any of the logos or banners below


Great KID sites for teaching the basics on water safety.

r Safety Dog            SafetyLeader





Youth, Young Adult and Adults will be able to learn from the material on these sites below.




This site last updated on August 14, 2013