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For millions of college students, spring break is the highlight of their school year and perhaps of their entire youth. It is a time to forget their academic studies and the other stressors of college life, and spend a week simply relaxing and having fun in the sun with other people their own age. This winter has been one of the coldest in history throughout most of the United States, which makes spending a week in early spring at the beach all the more appealing. There is no doubt that this March and April will see countless college students flock to the beaches of Florida, Texas, California, Mexico, and elsewhere.

But with great fun comes great risk, and every year we hear news stories about tragic accidents occurring during spring break shenanigans. Alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses are relatively common in spring break environments, as are sexual assaults. Perhaps most frightening of all though, is that spring breakers are at high risk of drowning. Water (especially ocean water), alcohol, inexperienced swimmers, lack of lifeguards, and a general carefree atmosphere can be a lethal combination for young people who are just trying to enjoy their vacation.

How to Stay Safe and Avoid Drowning While on Spring Break

Here are some practical tips that can help you and your friends avoid tragedy during this spring break season:

1. Never dive into unknown waters: The water may be shallower than you think, or there may be dangerous objects onto which you could land, so you should always investigate the water first before diving.

2. Avoid rip currents, whirlpools, and undertows: When swimming in ocean water with breaking waves, be extra careful not to get caught and carried under. If you do get caught, stay calm and swim parallel to the shore to get out of the current.

3. Swim only in designated areas: These areas will be clearly marked and will have lifeguards on duty.

4. Never swim alone: Make sure you have friends swimming with you at all times, so that someone will notice if anything happens to you.

5. Always swim sober: This is probably the most important tip of all. If you are intoxicated, you should not swim, period. Drunkenness is the number one factor that leads to drownings during spring break. If you are responsible about separating your drinking from your swimming, you may save your own life.

6. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do: Never let anyone talk you into doing something that you think is a bad idea. Only you know what your limits are, and if something seems dangerous to you, it probably is.

What to Do if Your Son or Daughter Is Involved in a Drowning Accident

If your son or daughter has died in a drowning accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

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