Vancouver, Wash. - Lifeguards will begin working at Klineline Pond this weekend, providing an extra level of safety at the popular swimming spot heading into the Fourth of July holiday.
Lifeguards will be on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily beginning Saturday, July 1, and lasting through Labor Day. The splash pad next to Klineline Pond is currently down for repairs but likely will reopen for the weekend.
Having lifeguards on duty reduces the inherent dangers of swimming and playing in the water, but park users are urged to follow basic water safety at all times. Parents should be particularly vigilant watching young children near the water since drownings can happen swiftly and silently.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among children 1 to 14 years old. In Washington, an average of 25 children and teenagers drown each year.
Life jackets can prevent such tragedies. A properly fitted life jacket should be snug, but comfortable. When lifting the shoulders of the jacket, the child's chin and ears should not slip through.
Park users can borrow a jacket from the loaner station at Klineline Pond. When finished, please return jackets to the station and hang them up to dry.
Boats, canoes, kayaks, rafts and air mattresses are not allowed on Klineline Pond.
Daily parking fees -- $2 for motorcycles, $3 for cars and trucks, $6 for cars and trucks with trailers, and $8 for buses and motor homes -- are charged at Salmon Creek Regional Park/Klineline Pond, off Northeast 117th Street just west of Interstate 5. Annual parking passes, good at four county regional parks, can be purchased for $30. More information is available on the county's website, www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/parking-fees.
Swimming is allowed in most Clark County parks that have water access, but the county provides lifeguards only at Klineline Pond.
Clark County parks on the Columbia River, namely Captain William Clark Regional Park at Cottonwood Beach and Frenchman's Bar Regional Park, are not safe for swimming because of strong currents and abrupt drop-offs. In addition, swimming is not allowed at Lucia Falls Regional Park because areas near the falls are sensitive fish spawning grounds.
More information about swimming in county parks and water safety is available at www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/swimming.