LIVERMORE (CBS SF) – Two deaths by drowning in less than a week at Lake Del Valle Regional Recreation Area in Livermore have prompted the East Bay Regional Park District to issue a warning to visitors on being water safe.

Los Gatos resident Florencio Rodriguez Pureco, 31, died in a boating accident June 8, according to the Alameda County coroner’s bureau.

Shawn Spikes Jr., 23, of San Francisco, died June 11 after falling overboard from a boat rented with a group of friends on the lake in unincorporated Alameda County south of Livermore.

“Keeping visitors safe is our number one priority at East Bay Regional Parks, whether you’re on land or water. We want people to enjoy their experience at our parks,” said Robert Doyle, park district general manager in a news release, “and we want our visitors to go home safely at the end of their visit. It’s imperative for people using the Park District’s water facilities and lakes to know how to stay safe when boating or swimming.”

Tips from the park district’s Aquatics Manager Pete DeQuincy:

  • Keep a close eye on your children. Drowning can occur quickly and silently, even in a foot of water.
  • Do not drink alcohol if you plan on swimming or boating.
  • Obey all rules and posted signs.
  • Only swim in areas with a lifeguard on duty.
  • If you’re not a strong swimmer, take swim lessons. The park district offers swim lessons throughout the summer.
  • Swim with a buddy and don’t engage in horseplay in the water.
  • If you’re unsure of your swimming abilities, wear a life jacket.
  • Regional park swim facilities have free loaner life jackets available.
  • Boaters should always wear a life jacket.
  • Children 12 and under are not permitted in the swimming area unless accompanied by a responsible, actively supervising individual 16 years or older.
  • No lifeguard service is provided at bay beaches.
  • Swimming at your own risk is allowed in designated areas and when lifeguards are off duty at some parks.

The park district has life guards at lakes and swim facilities from April to September.

“While some 120 lifeguards patrol our swim beaches and lagoons, water safety should be a serious concern for every person entering our parks,” DeQuincy said. “Our lifeguards are trained rescuers not babysitters.  We often find unattended youngsters around water. Ultimately, we want to see happy families go home together after a fun day at the park.”

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