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Milwaukee Fire, DNR share water safety tips after two weekend drownings

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(CBS 58) -- “We have seen an uptick in dive runs," said Milwaukee Fire Department Dive Team Co-Director Lt. Jacob Hinsenkamp.

More calls are coming into the Milwaukee Fire Department Dive Team for water rescues.

In all of last year, they went on 26 calls.

So far this year, they’re already at 25.

“The water level has been really high this year, and the lakes and the rivers. The water’s moving faster in the rivers, it’s more dangerous," he said.

On Saturday, the Dive Team responded to McKinley Marina after a 19-year-old man did not resurface after trying to save two young relatives.

“It’s to my understanding that during our initial dive the victim did come ashore and we did find him eventually," he continued.

Tragedies do happen.

And so, if someone if struggling in the water, Hinsenkamp suggests trying to find an object to reach them first.

“If you can find rope or an object where you can reach out to them, anything you can do to not be in the water and make yourself a victim," he said.

The DNR responded to the Marina, and also to an earlier call at Pewaukee Lake.

“The best way to be safe is to have a properly sized wearable personal flotation device," Steve Swiertz, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation warden, said.

As of Saturday morning, authorities were still searching for a 22-year-old man who was with friends on boat.

“Know the capabilities of your vessel, so the capabilities of your boat, but also know your own personal capabilities," Swiertz said.

Another piece of advice from first responders is to also note the last place you saw the person in the water. They say this will better help divers.

The DNR also has boater safety classes that anyone can take.

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