Water Safety

Welcome to the water safety page hosted by the Rome Township Special Operations Unit. On this page you will find helpful hints and guidelines to go by when dealing with water, whether you are swimming, boating, or see someone in trouble, we hope this page will help. As always, reading this does take the place of competent instruction, these are for reference only.


The single most important water safety tip is LEARN HOW TO SWIM! Knowing how to swim can save your life as well as others.  Several local agencies have classes, so sign up now if you don’t know how.

After you learn to swim, don’t forget these safety tips.

  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Swim only in a designated areas and make sure an adult is watching.
  • Wear a life jacket if you don't know how to swim or are just learning... (I know it won’t look cool, but it will keep you alive).
  • An inflatable mattress or a swim ring does not take the place of a life jacket.
  • Don’t swim in cold waters; swimmers can get hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature) in cold water.
  • Never dive or jump in unknown areas.
  • Never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Obey all "NO SWIMMING" and all other warning signs.


Boating safety cannot be overstated, too many avoidable accidents happen in and around boats.  Remember that the United States Coast Guard have very strict rules governing boats and boat operators, follow those rules and regulations as well as those of the local authority for a very sage and enjoyable time. Here are some helpful reminders:

  • Know your boat, each boat has its own purpose.
  • Make sure you use your boat correctly.
  • Always wear a life jacket when on a boat.
  • Make sure an adult is operating the boat.
  • Don't go on the boat if the operator has been drinking alcohol.
  • Ride a Personal Watercraft only with an experienced adult driver.
  • Don't stand while a small boat is moving.
  • Don't sit on the gunwale or bow of a moving boat.
  • Never boat just above or just below a dam.
  • Don't go past buoys, signs, ropes, or lights that warn of a dam.
  • Don't boat or paddle near a low-head dam.
  • Stay away from canals-currents and undertows hide beneath the surface.
  • Some rivers have waterfalls, some big, some small, don’t find out the hard way-get out and look.
  • Watch out for rapids and whitewater.
  • Watch out for broken limbs and logs in rivers and all waterways.
  • Remember that cold water can cause hypothermia.
  • Know your state’s laws governing boating and fishing.

Water Rescue

Seeing someone in distress when they are in the water can be a very scary experience. Staying calm and remembering what to do can mean the difference between life and death. These tips will help you help someone and stop you from becoming a second victim.

  • Remember the four steps to civilian water rescue. Reach, Throw, Row, DON'T GO!
    • REACH: Hold on to the dock or your boat and reach your hand, a boat oar, a fishing pole, or whatever you have nearby to person in the water.
    • THROW: If you can't reach far enough, toss things that will float for the person to grab.
    • ROW: If you're in a boat, use the oars to move the boat closer to the person in the water or call out to nearby boat for help. Don't use the boat's motor close to a person in the water, they could be injured by the propeller.
    • DON'T GO: Don't go into the water unless you are trained the way life guards are trained to rescue frightened or injured people.
  • Yell for help
  • If you can, call or have someone call 911, stay calm and give your exact location, your name, and the name of the people involved, they will get emergency personnel on their way to your location.
  • Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and first aid.
  • Take a class on how to deal with a hypothermic person. This will show you how to care for someone that has fallen in cold water or through ice.

Using these tips can help you and your loved ones enjoy being on and around the water.