今夏密西根湖岸浪大 淹水兒童增

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【大紀元2018年08月24日訊】(大紀元記者唐明鏡編譯報導)夏季,密西根湖畔吸引眾多民眾戲水。可是今夏兒童溺水而亡的案件數量有所增多。政府警告說,湖岸的浪花較大,一定注意安全和規避風險的方法。

     

根據「大湖衝浪救援項目」(Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project)的數字,今年迄今有22人在密西根湖溺亡,比去年的30人少。但有5名芝加哥兒童溺亡,超過去年的總數,比2016年兩倍還多。特別是上一個週末即有三個芝加哥男孩溺亡。

  

根據美國疾病控制中心的數據,溺水死亡的人中有五分之一是14歲及以下的兒童。

  

離開學還有兩個週末,加上9月3日的勞工節(Labor Day),密西根湖往往會聚集更多人群。而根據芝加哥法令,湖畔的救生員到9月3日就停止值勤了。政府擔心,沒有救生員的湖岸會有更多安全隱患。

     

密西根湖往往被認為是北美五大湖中最致命的湖。從2010年至今,五大湖共有近690人溺亡,45%的死於密西根湖。業界認為,密西根湖邊有兩大人口稠密城市,芝加哥和密爾沃基,因此造成其溺亡人數最突出。

  

大湖衝浪救援項目分析說,溺亡者中只有三分之一的罪魁是巨浪。項目主任本杰明表示,「我相信,這裡面每一個溺亡都是可以預防、避免,並能救回來的。真正的缺失在於公共教育。」

     

專家表示,溺水並不像人們想像的會產生很多水花,游水者叫喊呼救等,很多時候是安靜地沉入水底,而沒有人注意到。

     

專家說,湖岸邊游泳,最容易遭遇的危險是「離岸流」(rip current),即強勁的水流向外海方向快速移動。由於水不斷地朝岸邊推擠,彙集到一定程度,就會形成強大水流向外海退卻。游水者如果遭遇離岸流,不應強行遊回到岸邊,往往會體力耗盡而溺水;應該平行於湖岸游,直至游出離岸流,或者躺在水流上漂浮,直至浪流退卻。

     

此外專家提醒,水岸邊的建築物都容易形成浪流,如防洪堤和碼頭等。這些都是開放水域中潛在的危險。

     

亦有人把溺亡歸咎於救生員不足。從2009年起,芝加哥市政府為節省費用,把救生員的值勤時間縮短到11時至晚7時。今年7月一名13歲女孩在晚10時溺亡後,市政府增加了一條措施:救生員離開時,在高塔上樹一桿紅旗,表示此處沒有人看護。

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