Park Rangers teach kids water safety at Wappapello Lake - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Park Rangers teach kids water safety at Wappapello Lake

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Officials say the number of drowning deaths in Missouri is up by 200 percent compared to this time last year.

Data from the Missouri Water Patrol shows last year there were half as many drownings in 2012 as there are this year.

Wappapello Lake park rangers say they are trying to prevent drownings by promoting water safety.

Saturday's Waterfest event was all about teaching kids how to stay safe on the water.

One ranger says even the simplest things can help save a child's life.

"One of the first rules of water safety is learn how to swim," said Park Ranger Andrew E. Jefferson, Sr. "Swimming is very important, not only swimming but knowing how to float. Another thing we teach is to wear your life jacket or PFD."

The event taught kids about safety while having fun.

They enjoyed inner tube races, cardboard boat races, and a life jacket fashion show was all on the agenda.

The evening is scheduled to end with fireworks.

Rangers say teaching kids about water safety isn't something that just happens once a year, but all year round.

They remind parents and kids to always play it safe when it comes to the water.

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