by Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
April 14, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The newly formed Twin Cities Metro Water Safety Task Force held the first of three events this weekend aimed at addressing an increase in pool and hot tub drownings.

A record high of 19 people drowned in Hennepin County last year, including several kids who drowned in apartment complex swimming pools.

North Memorial helped organize a coalition to address the drownings.

The Metro Water Safety task force is made up of foundations, swim schools, suburban police departments, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and others. They set up a workshop next to the indoor pool at Huntington Place Apartments in Brooklyn Park and showed about two dozen residents and children how to recognize when someone is drowning and respond correctly.

Resident Yonorkai Alanaa brought her niece and nephew to the event.

"It's really nice for my little niece and nephew ... to know what to do in a pool and be safe in a pool," Alanaa said.

The task force will hold events in Brooklyn Center on April 19 and in Plymouth on April 28th.


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Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.


More water safety tips