'Don't let your guard down': Tips on preventing drownings this summer

Minnesota has already seen 25 water-related deaths so far this summer, five of them being children.

Officials say the numbers are troubling and serve as a tragic reminder that drowning is a silent killer.

Alan Korn of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance says supervision is the easiest way to help prevent drownings. Don’t let your guard down, even if your child has had swim lessons.

"Drowning does not happen like it does in the movies, ‘help, help I’m drowning.’ It does not happen. A child starts to panic, they go under the water and that is the end," Korn explained.

He said that one lesson is not enough and that it is a process.

"Seven or eight and even then it’s acclimation into the pool, and the real swimming environment - all supervision.

Korn said that supervision means staying an arm’s length away at all times. It’s not only critical in pools but lakes, rivers and even ponds.

Lieutenant Gottwoldt with the Hennepin County said that other dangers can be found at lakes and rivers, as well.

"It adds another danger with currents, sudden drop-offs that maybe aren’t marked off like a pool," he said.

Since March, there have been nine drownings in Hennepin County, up from six this time last year.

"I am worried this year is going to be just as bad as last year with what we are seeing with drownings and near-drownings around Hennepin County and around the state," Lt. Gottwoldt said.

According to the DNR, last year was the worst year for drownings in nearly a decade.

For more information on free programs and scholarships for swimming lessons through the city of Minneapolis click here,

For information on programs through the YWCA click here.

For programs through the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office click here.