The numbers are sobering.
Eight drownings in Hennepin County in July alone. 15 drownings in the county this year, four of which were children, and 11 near-drownings. 27 drownings in Minnesota so far this year, compared to only 18 last year.
At a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office news conference on Tuesday, Major Jeff Storms suggested the unusually hot weather this summer has prompted people to seek relief in the county's three rivers, 104 lakes, and countless swiming pools, increasing the chances a drowning could happen.
The conference comes less than 24-hours after at an outdoor apartment pool. Storms said it was the third time this year someone drowned trying to save a swimer in trouble.
To keep others — or yourself — from becoming an addition to this summer's grim littany of drowning statistics, Storms offered these tips:
1. Be aware of where your surroundings.
"Water is extremely unforgiving," Storms said. "If you are unfamiliar with the water you are more likely to have an accident. Many people believe a man-made body of water like a swimming pond, pool, hot tub or whatever is a safe environment."
Storms encouraged bathers to watch out for other swimers, noting that a person could drown in less than 40 seconds.
"Before you are done reading one page in your book while you sit there and aren't looking, someone could have drowned," he said.
2. Wear a life jacket. Make others wear one too.
"I've been to hundreds of near-drownings and drownings and I have never recovered anyone who was wearing a life jacket," Storms said. "Make sure you are wearing one. Even some of the best swimmers in the world have trouble, especially if they're unfamiliar with the water (they are swiming in)."
3. Communication is vital in saving a life.
If someone is struggling, most often they can’t call out for help, but Storms said make sure you’re talking to the victim. You can get the struggling individual to self-rescue by talking with them, he said.
"Tell them to 'swim toward my voice,'" Storms said.
"Grab a pole and reach it towards them to have them grab it, that's the safest way to do it," he said. "Often those who jump in to help are pulled under the water by those they are trying to rescue, like what happened yesterday in Plymouth."
4. Stay sober.
Lastly, Storms emphasized alcohol and recreating at any body of water do not mix well.
"Anytime you are in or around a watercraft you absolutely need someone who is not drinking at all," Storms said. "You have to be alert on the water and cautious at all times."