Perspective: WIS Editorial on water safety by General Manager Donita Todd

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's that time of the year when folks head to the water to cool off from our summer heat. Unfortunately for some, water may be an even greater challenge than the sultry weather.

We are blessed to live in an area with lakes, rivers, swimming pools and beaches nearby.  But recent deaths on our rivers and lakes have shed light on the need to take precautions rather than risks when taking the plunge.  Two men died on Lake Marion when they both ended up in the lake without life jackets;  another drowned when he waded into the Congaree River and ended up in deep water; and a fourth died when he slipped on rocks while tubing down the Saluda.

Recently WIS News 10 reported that 60% of minority children nationwide do not know how to swim. We also discovered that two of our own, Judi Gatson and Craig Melvin, weren't swimmers. They agreed to take lessons, to set the example and demonstrate just how easy it is to learn, even as an adult.

So whether you or your children want to learn to swim or you just want to know more about water safety, do the responsible thing and get some help. Our news department will be telling you more in the coming days about free water-safety training opportunities. Enjoy our beautiful South Carolina waters this summer but be safe.  That's my Perspective.  What's yours?