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Lake bans pool toys

As the Labor Day weekend approaches, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is encouraging visitors to leave their pool toys at home. In the interested of public safety, the use of inflatable and noninflatable items intended for use in swimming pools have been prohibited.

This includes inflatable armbands, beach balls and pool noodles.

“Due to the numerous drownings and rescue operations required, inflatable pool toys are now prohibited at Lake Mead National Recreation Area,” said Acting Superintendent Randy LaVasseur. “Leave them in the pool where they belong. The weather conditions at Lake Mead can change quickly, putting visitors’ lives in danger. The safety and health of National Park Service employees, visitors, partners, volunteers and resources is our top priority.”

During the past seven years there have been nine fatalities directly attributed to adults and children using pool toys as flotation devices or swimming after them when they were taken by the wind into deeper, choppy water.

Items that are attached to or towed behind a vessel are not included in this ban, nor are inflatable kayaks, paddle boards, kite board and float tubes that fall under the U.S. Coast Guard’s definition of a vessel. While using these vessels visitors are required to wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

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