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'Be a neighbor': Water safety in the spotlight after two weekend drownings

Silvestre Lucas, 2, and Larry Rainey, 30, both died this weekend in two separate drownings.

MACON, Ga. — After two separate drownings last weekend, water safety is top of mind.

Larry Rainey, 30, died at Amerson River Park Sunday evening. Silvestre Lucas, 2, drowned in about 4 feet of water at Claystone Beach on Lake Tobesofkee Sunday afternoon.

We went out to the lake to get some tips to keep you and your family safe on the water.

Rachael Callahan's family is an outdoorsy bunch, and frequents the lake and other beaches.

"Cookouts, we have water park days just at the house, we go to the park to walk the trails. We do anything that's outdoors," she said.

They love the beach, but it's not all fun and games when they hit the sand and surf. Her one-year-old daughter Jah'mira likes to run.

"She's fast. Very fast," Callahan laughed.

She says there's always someone else with her helping to watch Jah'mira. Callahan makes sure to watch her anywhere near the water, especially if the beach is busy.

"I want to make sure I can see her, even if she's only a few feet away. So the biggest thing for me is bright colors. That can be seen pretty quick. And floaties. Arm floaties. Floaties she can sit in if she wants to get in the water," Callahan explained.

Game Warden Lamar Burns with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says watching everyone in your group in the water is vital to staying safe.

"Be a neighbor and keep eyes on people. The lifeguard only sees so much. They can only respond to so many at one time," Burns said.

Burns recommends wearing a bright color when you're in the water. He says you should also wear something with a unique pattern too.

He says any amount of water can be dangerous. Rivers and lakes can be unpredictable, he says, with unexpected waves and currents. He reminds you to stay vigilant, and to always wear a life jacket.


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