Over the weekend, 2 teens drowned in the Meramec River in West St. Louis county. The area of the river where the teens died is located within Castlewood State Park, which has been the seen of many other drownings over the years.
Castlewood State Park is situated in an area where the river makes a sharp curve. This curve in the river creates swift current, large amounts of bottom debris, and steep drop offs – all of which make it a very dangerous place to swim. While there are signs in the area warning of the dangers, many people continue to swim off the sandy beach without life jackets.
Swimming in a river, stream or lake is very different than swimming in a pool. People are urged to take extra precautions and be very diligent about wearing life jackets – even if you know how to swim. Even the best swimmer can get swept off their feet and pulled into a treacherous current that is too strong.
The American Red Cross offers these safety tips for enjoying rivers, streams and lakes safely this summer.