Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District say there is a simple way for lake visitors to greatly reduce their risk of drowning this Labor Day weekend: Wear a life jacket.

The Corps district manages 18 lakes in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. Public safety manager Kyle Ruona said Thursday that 89 percent of all water-related fatalities at Corps lakes involve people who fail to wear life jackets.

Swimming in a lake is harder than swimming in a pool, so Corps officials urge people to take precautions, be alert and to expect the unexpected when on the water. People using boats also are encouraged to avoid alcohol.

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