Water safety advice from dive team

Many different agencies helped Escanaba Public Safety search for the 14-year-old boy who drowned in Little Bay de Noc Wednesday night.

They included the U.S. Coast Guard, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan DNR.

The Delta County Sheriff Dive Rescue Team also had people at the scene.

A life jacket may not make a fashion statement, but rescuers say it’s important to wear one in open water.

“Don’t be ashamed to wear it,” safety officer Jim Kirby said. “We’ve never recovered anybody wearing a life jacket, so don’t ever be ashamed of wearing a life jacket if you’re a weak swimmer, or even if you’re a strong swimmer and you just don’t feel right.”

Calling 911 immediately is crucial if a swimmer goes missing.

Generally speaking, submerged swimmers can only be revived within a limited time period.

“There’s a window of opportunity between a rescue and a recovery — it’s about 70 minutes — that a person can be submerged and be successfully revived, and that time is critical,” dive team member Jon Smith said.

Besides Delta County, the Dive Rescue Team also serves Dickinson and Iron Counties.