Drowning awareness month approaches

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It seems too often we're sharing a story about an Arizona drowning.

Wednesday local authorities and those affected by drownings tried to get the message out, don't leave your kids unsupervised.

"Please put me out of business.  If I never see a piedriac drowning or near in my career I will be so happy," said Dr. Terence O'Keeffe from UMC.

As August approaches, so does Drowning Awareness month.  Fire fighters, paramedics and doctors held a press conference Wednesday outside of U of A's aquatic center.

Pima County has had 12 water related incidents this year.  Three of those fatal drownings were of children under 6-years old.

"Enroute to a call it's difficult for many of us to seperate our own personal feelings and own personal life with this type of call," said Capt. Will Seeley with the Golder Ranch Fire Department.

"More children die every year in the U.S. from swimming pool death than guns.  I dont think people realize how lethal swimming pools can be," said Dr. O'Keeffe.

Arizona has the second highest drowning rate in the nation behind Florida.  Druann Letter's son is one of those statistics.

"Thirteen years ago I became a member of a club I never wanted to be," said Letter.  "The dues I pay are burying my child."

Druann's crusade is to rid the state of drownings.  She says they're preventable.  All of them are preventable.

"We never thought this could happen to us because you know what, we watch our child around water.   But that big umbrella that follows us wherever we go is an umbrella of guild because we didn't do what we should have done in our to protect our son," said Letter.

Along with the three drowning deaths, there have been 8 near drownings this year.