BAMBERG, Germany (July 3, 2013) -- Franconia has many lakes, rivers and ponds that look inviting with the arrival of summer to Bavaria. But many of these bodies of water can be risky; in fact, all bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and quarries are off limits unless specifically authorized as a swimming area by the USAG Bamberg garrison commander.

These areas have typically been placed off limits when there are no regular lifeguards on duty. In addition, many of them are contaminated with chemicals or organic waste.

The Franconia Military Community's safety offices have published lists of authorized swimming areas to minimize risks for U.S. Army personnel and their Families; the list of authorized swimming areas is posted on each garrison's website. This is information that can potentially save lives.

As a rule of thumb, all swimming pools can be considered authorized swimming areas, unless specifically placed off limits, and all ocean and sea borders are approved provided life guards are on duty.

An audiovisual aid, titled "European Water Safety," is available at the USAG Bamberg Safety Office, Bldg. 7089, room 325. The office can be reached by phone for reservations by calling 0951-300-1670 or DSN 469-1670.

In addition, a complete list of authorized swimming pools in the Bamberg area is available at

For Ansbach's list, call the safety office at 09811-83-1670/7594 or DSN 468-1670/7594.

Schweinfurt's authorized swimming areas can be found at