Lynchburg, VA - A 4th of July turned deadly when 18 year old Martinsville High School grad, Kerion Witcher drowned at Fairy Stone State Park."In order to help him you have got to listen to me and do what I tell you" said a 911 dispatcher in response to a call to report 14 year old Bailey Thomas, who Amherst County investigators say knows how to swim, was pulled from the bottom of a back yard pool. Thomas is still recovering.Jumping into the pool is the perfect summer cool down. But be safe, the water can be dangerous.At any given day at Miller Park Pool in Lynchburg, there are around 250 swimmers."Don't swim alone, don't let your children swim alone, have some sort of supervision" said Andrew Hover, the Miller Park Pool Manager.Hover shared essential summer swimming tips that transcend the public pool, your favorite lake, even the ocean.Tip number one: never swim alone."Have like a buddy system any kind of thing like that to where there's nobody alone in the water at any time" Hover said.Tip number two: know your limits. Even expert swimmers can get exhausted in strong summer heat."One of the things we do here is every two hours we have adult swims where it's basically everybody get out of the water and sort of take care of yourself, take a break" he said.Finally, don't jump in after someone struggling. Use a device to pull them from the water."As lifeguards, we're certified to do that, we're trained to do that. At home, I wouldn't suggest it, because if you are standing up and get pulled in, then who knows what kind of damage could happen to you" said Hover.Try to always swim in areas monitored by lifeguards. Also, experts encourage parents to give young children or inexperienced swimmers life jackets when out on the water.
WSET ABC 13 covers news, sports and weather in the Heart of Virginia: Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke and nearby communities including Amherst, Lexington, Cave Springs, Blacksburg, Martinsville, Farmville, North Shore, Glasgow, Altavista, Gretna, Chatham, Blairs, Bassett, Rocky Mt, Penhook, Moneta and Buena Vista