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Sacramento DART: Panic is your enemy, life vests will save lives

The Drowning Accident Rescue Team says most drowning victims would still be alive today if they had been wearing a life vest.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Following the recent accidental drowning deaths of an 18-year-old and a 40-year-old in Sacramento area waters, Sacramento County's Drowning Accident Rescue Team [DART] took ABC10 along on a basic in-water, swift-water training near Tiscornia Beach. 

The DART program, originally created by divers, is a local nonprofit made up of volunteers, dedicated to save lives and recover property from various lakes and waterways in and around the county.

“It’s scary that people get into those positions but to prevent a disaster, it just feels really great," a DART volunteer said.

The program's main mission is to talk about water safety year-round and encourage folks both young and old to wear their life jackets and follow basic water safety practices. 

DART members say when temperatures reach triple digits, such as they did this past week, Sacramento-area beaches become incredibly popular. 

"We’ll make contacts on the weekend three to five times a weekend where we assist swimmers," a DART volunteer said.

They could not stress enough that everyone going in the water needs to wear a life vest, adding that most drowning victims would be alive today if they had worn one. They’re also reminding folks to avoid mixing alcoholic beverages with water activities, practice survival strategies before your life depends on them and if you do get into trouble, remember that panic is your enemy, relax and work with the water.

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