ITHACA, N.Y. –The Ithaca Fire Department is reminding people of swimming safety tips after responding to two emergency rescues in one week.

On Wednesday, a 41-year-old man was rescued from Cayuga Lake after a near-drowning. Emergency crews were called to the 800 block of Taughannock Blvd. after receiving reports that a man had drowned. Friends were able to perform CPR on the man before emergency crews arrived. He was airlifted to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

On Saturday afternoon, Timothy J. Butler, 58, of McGraw, went missing while swimming in Cayuga Lake. He was found in the lake by New York State Police divers late Sunday night.

The fire department released the following safety tips:

With recent events on our lake and others this summer, the Ithaca Fire Department reminds everyone to practice water safety. Here are some tips from the IFD and the American Red Cross:

• Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards

• Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!

• Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons

• Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water

• Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone

• Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous

• If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning

• Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Please stay safe and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.