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Death shows urgent need to teach swim education

It is with a heavy heart I read the account of Ross Tharp’s untimely drowning at our famous War Eagle Mill low-water dam. If memory serves me right, we have had at least two previous drownings of Rogers boys at the same dam. Same situation.

One was a 17-year-old football player living in southwest Rogers. Approximately 10 years later, another high school boy did the same thing: canoe over the low-water dam and unable to resurface because of the force of the water holding him down under the water. Physics. Ross had a life vest on, but did not have the swim education that teaches about the dangers of low-water dams.

When will we learn?

Learn to value all Arkansas children enough to provide water safety education and swim lessons. Teach a healthy respect for water during our school years so that as adults we can enjoy the over 40 water activities on our plentiful beautiful lakes and rivers we are blessed with in this Natural State.

Don’t tell me it costs too much. What is a young life worth? Look at the money we spend on the few, already outstanding athletes. Let’s spend our money wisely on all youngsters to make sure their lives are safer around water. There are ways to provide this type of swim safety education if we really desire to protect our citizens.

JAN MUETZEL Rogers

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