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Aquatics Newsletter | June 2014 | VBgov.com/Parks
Get Ready to Get Sprayed!
Sprayground at Williams Farm Now Open

Williams Farm Sprayground

 

Break out the swimsuits and head over to Williams Farm Recreation Center because the sprayground is now open for the season! After a long, cold winter, we're looking forward to plenty of sunshine and spraying water! 

 

As long as the temperature hits 75, the sprayground will operate during the following hours:

 

Monday - Friday | 11:30 am - 8 pm

Saturday | 9 am - 4:30 pm

Sunday | 11 am - 4:30 pm

 

A recreation center membership or day pass is needed to access the sprayground. Children under the age of 9 must be supervised by a responsible person at least 16 years of age.

 

Want to bring your group to the sprayground this summer? Private rentals are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 - 11:30 am. Cost is $89 and proof of liability insurance will be required. Please contact the center at (757) 385-2950 for additional information and to schedule your rental!
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American Red Cross Announces New Swimming & Water Safety Program

 

The American Red Cross has announced a new Swimming and Water Safety Program for 2014, and our Aquatics Unit will be implementing new features from the program beginning in September. Be on the lookout for information on changes to the Learn to Swim level requirements and new offerings in our July newsletter.

 

As part of the update, the American Red Cross has launched a free mobile app where parents can track their child's progress in the Learn to Swim program and look up water safety information. Search "Red Cross Swim" from your mobile device's app marketplace.

Learn How to Be Safe Around Rip Currents
  
Rip Current
Click image to view larger

Virginia Beach is heating up and there's nothing like a dip in the ocean to cool down! As we all start heading out to the beach this summer, it's a good time for a reminder on how to stay safe when a rip current is present.

 

What is a rip current?

  • Channelized currents of water flowing away from shore at beaches
  • They typically form at breaks in sandbars and near structures, such as jetties and piers.
  • Rip currents are quite common and can be found on many surf beaches every day. 

 

Why are rip currents dangerous?

  • They pull people away from shore.
  • Speeds can vary from moment to moment and can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the surf.
  • Rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. 

 

What are some clues that a rip current may be present?

  • A channel of churning, choppy water
  • Difference in water color
  • Line of foam, seaweed or debris moving seaward
  • Breaks in the incoming wave pattern 

 

What if I'm caught in a rip current?

  • Stay calm. Don't fight the current.
  • Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by facing the shore and calling or waving for help.

 

How do I help someone else?

Don't become a victim while trying to help someone else!  Many people have died in efforts to rescue rip current victims.

Swim Tip Video Clip: Reach or Throw, Don't Go!

 

Video Tip Aquatic emergencies often happen with little warning. This is why lifeguards must have special rescue equipment readily available. The same is true for anyone spending time in, on and around the water. At home pools and other areas where no lifeguards are present, one or more types of equipment should be close at hand in order to provide assistance.

 

Reaching equipment

Noodles, shepherd's crook or broom handle 

 

Throwing equipment

Ropes, throw bags, ropes with buoys or a heaving jug 

 

Flotation devices 

U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets and flotation aids 

 

View the use of some of this equipment in this video.

Lightning Safety at Indoor Pools
  

Lightning

You're on your way to the pool, and you see a flash of light that bursts from the clouds and soon after you hear a rumble. You think, "an indoor pool won't close for a thunderstorm, right?"

 

As we venture into the time of year where thunderstorms occur often and lightning strikes frequently, keep in mind the swimming pools and shower facilities at our recreation centers close for lightning and remain closed for 30 minutes after the last strike. We ask everyone to clear the pool deck whether participating in lessons, swimming laps or open swim, and to stay clear of the showers.

 

The National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI) reports there are some 22 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes in the United States annually. Lightning will follow the path of least resistance through the air and along or through the ground. This means that if lightning strikes the ground near an indoor pool, it may lead into the building via low resistance conductors. How is that possible? The underground water pipes, gas lines, electric and telephone wiring all connect to the pool creating a metallic network that extends outside of the building. 

 
The good news is that there have been no reports of deaths from lightning while using indoor pools. However, there are many reports of lightning deaths in bathtubs as well as reports of injuries to people indoors with direct and indirect contact with water (kitchen sink, laundry room, bathroom, etc.) It seems reasonable to the NLSI that the potential for lightning incidents with people in indoor pools does exist. In fact, some facilities have reported the main circulation pump being destroyed, injuries to employees touching electrical panels and visible lighting inside of the pool area.
 

 

As an organization, we remain abreast of research and recommendations made for aquatic facilities and modify our policies accordingly. The following recommendations for lightning safety at indoor pools are provided by lightningsafety.com:

  1. Recognize the threat. Use detection methods such as: your local TV channel, The Weather Channel, weather radios, subscription notification services, or seeing lightning and/or hearing thunder.
  2. Identify SAFE and NOT SAFE places early. SAFE areas should be inside a building in a dry area. NOT SAFE areas would be any area near electrical conductors, electrical equipment, metal objects (such as lifeguard stands or ladders) and water (including showers). 
  3. Take action to suspend activities. When lightning is within 6-8 miles, evacuate people to safe areas. Guards should secure the entrance to the pool deck.
  4. Determine when activities should be resumed. Wait 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike, since lightning may visit from the back end of the passing thunderstorm.

Congratulations to Our High School Graduates

 

Tamir Abbasi, guard and instructor at Williams Farm, graduated from Bayside and will be attending the University of Virginia.

 

Sophie Bateson, instructor at Great Neck, graduated from Kellam and will be attending James Madison University.

 

Joe Bedford, instructor at Great Neck, graduated from Norfolk Academy and will be attending Yale.

 

John Brown, dive coach at Princess Anne, graduated from Kellam and will be attending George Mason University.

 

Kevin de Cristoforo, guard at Kempsville, graduated from Kempsville and will be attending George Mason University.

 

Brendan Curiel, guard at Williams Farm, graduated from Princess Anne and will be attending Laney Community College.

 

Joshua Dreano, guard and instructor at Bayside, graduated from Bayside and will be attending Coastal Carolina University.

 

Christian Durkin, guard at Bayside, graduated from Princess Anne and will be attending Tidewater Community College.

 

Brandon Haynes, guard at Williams Farm, graduated from Granby and will be attending Norfolk's Fire & Rescue Academy.

 

Brett Hellman, guard at Seatack, graduated from Cox and will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

Kamalei Kanehailua, guard at Williams Farm, graduated from Bayside and will be enlisting in the military.

 

Jessica Law, guard at Williams Farm, graduated from Salem and will be attending Tidewater Community College.

 

Harrison Lockard, guard at Princess Anne, graduated from Kellam and will be attending George Mason University.

 

Julia Manthey, guard at Princess Anne, graduated from Kellam and will be attending James Madison University.

 

Kyle Marshall, guard at Seatack, graduated from Kellam and will be attending Radford University.

 

Corey Martin, guard at Princess Anne, graduated from Salem and will be attending James Madison University.

 

Ryan McBride, guard and instructor at Kempsville, graduated from Kempsville and will be attending West Virginia University.

 

Whitley Miller, guard and instructor at Kempsville, graduated from Kempsville and will be attending Virginia Tech.

 

Anton Ochs, guard at Seatack, graduated from First Colonial and will be attending the University of California, Davis.

 

Ethan Pavlik, guard at Bayside, graduated from Cox and will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

Mary Pruitt, guard at Seatack, graduated from Kellam and will be attending James Madison University.

 

Bella Saley, instructor at Princess Anne, graduated from Princess Anne and will be attending the University of South Carolina.

 

Morgan Treon, guard at Princess Anne, graduated from Salem and will be attending James Madison University.

 

Kevin Watson, guard at Princess Anne, graduated from Kellam and will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

Josh Wood, instructor at Great Neck, graduated from First Colonial and will be attending Virginia Tech.

 

Daniella Wornom, guard at Kempsville, graduated from Princess Anne and will be attending the University of Virginia.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures

 

All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center and administrative offices
will be closed on Friday, July 4. City parks will be open! 

  

Don't forget that your membership is good at all Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child requires additional support, we can help. Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions. Feel free to email us at fun@VBgov.com.
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.