A teenager died yesterday (Sunday) in central Iowa while swimming with a friend. The 17-year-old boy drowned in a sand pit area about four miles north of Ames. The body was recovered by divers in about 15 feet of water. The divers say his leg was caught on a rope that was attached to a buoy floating on the surface of the lake. The area — Peterson Park Pits — did not have life guards and Rod Slings, the recreational safety supervisor at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says that’s when you need to proceed with caution. “Any time that you swim in unfamiliar waters or waters that may be a stream or lake, something that is not a municipal-type pool, there are always some inherent dangers,” Slings says. “It could be current. It could be obstructions in the water that you can not see so you’ve got to use extreme caution in those areas.”*Slings says even when you’re swimming in a lake, you should wear a life-jacket to keep you from drowning. Slings says rivers and streams, at this time of year, can get bank-full quickly after a rainstorm. “With snags such as trees that have fallen into a stream, those create strainers that can actually pull you in and hold you down underneath the water,” Slings says. “Be extremely careful around those types of obstructions.” As for those who don’t take a dip but take a trip on the water, Slings says Iowa law requires each boat to have a “wearable” life-jacket for each passenger.Late Friday, the body of a 12-year-old boy who drowned last October was found in West Lake Okoboji. The boy was not wearing a life jacket.
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