Hamilton Pool promoting swimming safety with free life vests

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TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — As summer settles in, the reservations to get into Hamilton Pool are currently booked out five weeks in advance.

While the reservation requirement changed prior to the summer of 2016, the newest addition to the pool this year is a life vest stand where visitors can borrow free life jackets. Travis County Parks added the kiosks after two people died while swimming at the park last year.

“Once a swimmer goes down, it’s difficult to pull him back up because the water is deep — 25 feet — and it is very murky,” says Park Supervisor Michael Brewster. “And because it’s so hard to pull a swimmer back up, the goal of the life vest program is to prevent the drowning instance from happening in the first place.”

Brewster says many visitors don’t realize they have to hike to get to the pool.

“They are very steep and they are rocky,” says Brewster. “It’s a quarter of a mile hike and we say it’s about 15 minutes for the typical person to get down there.”

But even if you make the hike down, you still might not be able to jump in and cool off. If high bacteria is detected, park crews will close the pool to swimming.

If you would like to visit the preserve, reserve your visit at the Travis County Parks website.

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