- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - With temperatures reaching into the 70s this weekend and the annual boating season under way, parks officials are urging safety while playing in the regions lakes and rivers.

Springtime higher river flows and cold temperatures can quickly overwhelm unprepared swimmers and boaters.

Jeff Duchin, the region’s public health officer, says people spending time in the water should use lifejackets and make their use as common as wearing a seatbelt in a car or a helmet on a bike.

The public health agency says in 2014, 15 people died in preventable drowning incidents. Eight of those deaths could have been prevented with lifejacket use.

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