Mock drowning dips into uncharted water safety territory

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 3:50pm

WACO -- "Drowning's are never easy, it's the hardest part of our job," Park Ranger, Elizabeth Anderson said.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is dipping into uncharted waters at Lake Waco, with the hopes...

"That this program will make a difference."

 In 2011, there were 40 drowning's within 25 Texas lakes in the Fort Worth Districts.  

Three of them happened at Lake Waco, which led 2 local park rangers to step out of the box, and into the water, designing a water safety program sure to stick with students and their parents.

"Definitely will always remember this experience," Jerri Gonzalez, mother of the mock drowning victim said.  

"People have actually drowned out there and it's not fake," Graham Gonzalez said, who played the drowning victim.  

This morning, more than 100 7th and 8th graders from Bosqueville Middle School. watched a mock video of one of their classmates trying to swim farther than he was able, and drowned.

The students were then bused to Lake Waco, not knowing what would happen next.

They stood by watching as emergency crews searched for and found their classmate.

"I didn't hear a peep, I had to turn around and make sure they were there, so I can only assume they were pretty engrossed in the program," Anderson said.

Those involved today knew that it was just a water safety demonstration, but the emotions, were authentic.

"I don't think there was much acting involved there," Garrett Meske said. Meske played the drowning victims friend who tried to race him to a distance farther than he could swim.

As for the 7th grade victim who faked his drowning?

He hopes at least one life will be saved after today.

"Every time you're swimming, have a life jacket on, don't just try to swim across your abilities you know, and just really be safe," Graham Gonzalez said.

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