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Soak up the sun - safely

There are many different summer activities with varying levels of risk involved. With long, hot and sunny days, the beaches and lakes becomes a prime location for friends and families to enjoy. Keep safety in mind, and enjoy – safely. (U.S. Air Force photo/A1C Lausanne Morgan.)

There are many different summer activities with varying levels of risk involved. With long, hot and sunny days, the beaches and lakes becomes a prime location for friends and families to enjoy. Keep safety in mind, and enjoy – safely. (U.S. Air Force photo/A1C Lausanne Morgan.)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, ENGLAND -- The U.S. Air Force has reached the midway point of the 101 Critical Days of Summer with dramatically less reportable mishaps from previous years.

The goal every year is zero fatalities, zero DUIs and to reduce the number of reportable mishaps, according to the 48th Fighter Wing safety office.

"So far this year we have not lost any of our Airmen due to a mishap," said Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Algiere, 48th FW ground safety manager. "We have also seen a decrease in reportable mishaps and a slight decrease in DUIs."

While fewer Airmen are making the fateful decision to drive under the influence, the risk from driving in a foreign country doesn't stop there.

"Driving here in the U.K. is still the most dangerous thing we do," said Sergeant Algiere. "People need to focus on their driving and not allow themselves to be distracted by other things such as cell phone calls and texting."

It is also important to know that using handheld devices while driving is against U.K. law and federal employees are banned from text messaging while behind the wheel on government business by a presidential executive order, issued Oct. 1, 2009.

Sergeant Algiere said Airmen need to slow down. "It's important to get as much rest as possible and drive to road conditions."

With long, hot and sunny days, the beach becomes a prime destination for friends and families to enjoy.

"Never leave your children unaccompanied," said Bill King, 48th FW Safety specialist. "When the tide turns, it will leave them stranded on the sand bar with the potential to drown and even the strongest swimmers might not be able to get back to the beach."

There are many different summer activities with varying levels of risk involved.

"People should be aware of their surroundings," said Sergeant Algiere. "If it's dumb, difficult or different, don't do it until you assess the risk!"