Corps concerned with rising number of deaths at its parks

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KFVS) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is concerned about what appears so far to be a deadly  recreation season at many Corps parks nationwide. The Corps is concentrating on water safety outreach to help curb this alarming trend.

According to the Corps, by the end of May, 57 people had died on Corps-owned property across the country this year, compared to 39 during the same five-month period last year – a more than 32 percent increase.

Most of these fatalities were from drowning, says the Corps.

"Public safety is our number one priority," Maj. Gen. Merdith W.B. Temple, acting commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said.  "The increase in deaths at USACE parks this year is of great concern to us. We want to do everything we can to make people aware of potential risks when they visit one of our recreation areas, and how to make good decisions that will improve safety for themselves, families and friends."

Officials report more than 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket when they died.

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