ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) — With summer fast approaching, Sailors aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) are outside enjoying the various recreational activities that come with the warm weather.
It is important for Sailors to remember to enjoy outdoor activities in a responsible and safe manner, according to Truman’s medical department.
“Sailors have been cooped up inside for months,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW) Christopher Zanetti, Medical Department’s leading chief petty officer. “It is very important to take precautions during the summer months because people spend a lot more time engaging in outdoor recreational activities.”
Heat stress is a major concern during the summer months said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (SW/AW) James Cooley.
“Avoiding an initial heat stress episode is vital because once your body experiences one heat related injury, it is more susceptible to having another incident in the future,” said Cooley. “If it took four hours for the initial one to occur, it is likely that the next episode will occur in two or three hours.”
Hydrating frequently and taking rests from the heat is key to avoiding heat related injuries said Cooley.
“Always have water with you. I can’t stress that enough,” he said. “Limit your Monsters and other energy drinks and make sure you are drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day, especially in the heat. Also make sure you are taking breaks out of the sun when it gets too hot.”
Summer on the shoreline can offer many different activities involving watersports, added Zanetti.
“Take the safety courses offered by the boating marinas in town,” he said said. “Don’t swim in an area without a lifeguard on post, pay attention to the safety signs around beaches, and know what the current is like before you go swimming.”
Alcohol is a key contributor to many accidents that occur during the summer months, said Zanetti.
“As the weather gets warmer, the biggest mistakes Sailors start to make is mixing risky recreational activities with alcohol,” said Zanetti. “More Sailors get hurt because they are not paying attention and do not have a plan.”
Part of having a plan when drinking includes always having a sober person in the group.
“If you are drinking, you should always have one sober Sailor with you,” said Cooley. “They should be your designated driver. It is so important to have someone with you to get everyone home safely.”
According to Zanetti, Truman leadership is taking proactive measures to ensure Sailors are making smart decisions with the approaching summer season.
“We have a safety stand-down coming up in the first week of May,” he said. “They are going to put out some great topics and everyone should pay close attention. It is a great idea to have divisional conversations and talk about everyone’s plans.”
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