El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — "Respect the Water" those are the words that should resonate with any human being and not just around swimming pools, but all bodies of water to include rainstorms, lakes, ponds, water basins, tubs, or even while washing the car with a young child around. Those words are in many ways the way to sum up the commitment of support and awareness from the board members of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of El Paso.
The group was created in 2010 by Eddie and Laura Castle after the tragic drowning of their own son, Christian Castle. The Castle's have been a pillar of strength in overseeing many of the groups outreach activities and initiatives such as the Price's Creameries April Pool's Day and city-wide Citizen CPR Day in conjunction with the El Paso Fire Department and the American Red Cross, along with the many agencies that have come together as one to promote water safety. The Coalition also was involved in the World's largest swim lesson hosted by Wet N Wild Waterworld, various Learn to Swim initiatives and this past weekend with the Christian Castle Lifeguard Olympics.
El Paso Electric Company and El Paso Water Utilities will sponsor the 3rd annual "Respect the Water" Luncheon hosted by the Coalition at 11:30 a.m. on August 28, 2013 at the Wyndham Hotel, 2027 Airway Blvd. with guest speaker Nancy Baker, who lost her seven year old daughter Virginia Graeme Baker due to a hot tub drain incident in 2002. The real cause of her death however was a suction entrapment due to a faulty drain cover and she could not pull herself away. Upon her daughter's tragic death Mrs. Baker worked tirelessly to advocate for pool and spa safety. Virginia Baker had a twin and was the youngest of five daughters born to Nancy and James Baker IV, son of former Secretary of State James Baker III.
Baker actively lobbied Congress to win support for a law to require anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices, as needed in the entire country. The statute was signed into law by the President in 2007 as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. El Paso, Texas like many other cities and states across the United States due to the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act now have anti-entrapment covers at all commercial pools.
Nancy Baker will give a positive and powerful speech on truly getting people to understand the words, "Respect the Water". The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) created in 2010 a national public education campaign called Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives, to bring awareness about drowning and entrapment prevention and improve safety at the nation's pools and spas.