Groveland Fire Department
Robert B. Lay, Fire Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834
Groveland Police Department
Jeffrey Gillen, Deputy Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003

*Joint Press Release* Groveland Fire and Police Departments Offer Water Safety Tips

GROVELAND — As summer vacation approaches, Fire Chief Robert Lay and Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen remind residents to follow water safety tips and practices.

The Merrimack River, which divides Groveland and Haverhill, is a popular boating and kayaking destination during the summer months. Current boating activities on the river include canoeing, kayaking, rowing and power boating. The river provides both quickwater and flatwater experiences for canoeists and kayakers and is one of the largest surface water bodies in the region for power boating.

“Public areas, while beautiful for outdoor recreation, require vigilance and preparedness” Chief Lay said. “But we’re also asking the community to be just as vigilant in their own backyards and pools. Please be aware and watch your children at all times.”

The American Canoe Association offers the following safety tips to kayakers, paddlers, and recreational boaters:

  • Always wear a life jacket.
  • Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket in a public body of water at all times.
  • Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current.
  • Keep the craft under control. Do not enter a rapid unless you are reasonably sure you can navigate it or swim the entire rapid in case you capsize.
  • Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
  • Know your emotional and physical limitations.
  • Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.

Johnson Pond, which feeds into the Merrimack River, is also popular for fishing and boating activities. The waters of Johnson Pond accommodate a variety of watercraft including small boats, canoes and kayaks. Residents are encouraged to:

  • Always wear a life jacket when on a boat, canoe, or kayak.
  • Only enjoy these recreational activities during daylight hours. 
  • Be cautious, especially when children are present. 

“Please take caution by both public and private bodies of water,” said Deputy Chief Gillen. “Be alert, take precautions, and do not underestimate the dangers of the water.”

For those with their own pools, Groveland Fire and Police suggest that the community follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:

  • Per Massachusetts law, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you do not have children).
  • Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.
  • Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
  • Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
  • Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run, near the pool.
  • Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.


*Joint Press Release* Groveland Fire and Police Departments Offer Water Safety Tips
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