TOPEKA (AP) -- State parks officials say more than a dozen people have drowned in Kansas waters since mid-May.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism said Tuesday the 13 drowning deaths include five during the extended Fourth of July weekend.
The department notes that only one of the victims was wearing a life jacket. And nine of the 13 deaths occurred when the victims were swimming or wading, rather than in boats.
Maj. Dan Hesket, boating law administrator for the department, says everyone should wear a life jacket while boating or swimming. And he says people should be aware that Kansas lakes have underwater obstacles, sudden drop-offs and soft bottoms, while rivers often have strong currents. Hesket also notes waterways are murky, making finding someone underwater difficult.