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Carolina officials share water safety tips

Officials say being a good pool swimmer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll perform the same in a river or lake.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We are less than two weeks into the month of May, and there have been multiple drownings in our area this month.

Officials on both sides of the Carolinas said this is concerning as we head into summer. They said they're working to put an end to this trend during water safety month.

They say circumstances differ depending on the body of water you’re swimming in, regardless of how good of a swimmer you are.

RELATED: As warm weather approaches, YMCA of Greater Charlotte offering wakesports safety sessions

Officials said there are differences between swimming in pools, lakes, and rivers, but they can all agree that wearing a life jacket is one of the safest precautions you can take. They said being a good pool swimmer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll perform the same in a river or lake.

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"A pool is clear water, you can see the bottom of the pool and if your child is struggling you’re going to see them from the top and bottom," Ame guy, Aquatics Director for the YMCA, said. 

South Carolina Natural Resources said darker water makes it harder to keep track when someone goes under. And when swimming in the river you have to be mindful of some of the currents pushing against you.

Just like in a similar case last week, when two teens went swimming in the Pee Dee River. One was able to get out while the other drowned.

RELATED: 'She was everywhere I went' | Family mourns the loss of 12-year-old drowning victim

"With rivers you have currents and that was the case in Chesterfield County she wasn’t able to handle it," Greg Lucas with SC Natural Resources, said. 

Visibility is limited and people have to be aware of that and take precautions

WCNC Charlotte's Tradesha Woodard spoke with North Carolina's Wildlife Resources who said water temperatures can also impact swimmers making it hard to recover. 

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"Water temperatures have not really warmed up to what we would normally see it could cause you to panic," William Blaton, Sgt. with NC wildlife resources, said. "When you jump in we are looking at water in the 70s and it can take your breath away." 

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