What to know to have a safe time on the water

Local News

As temps heat up, people are looking for a way to cool off. We have some tips on how to stay safe as you head out on the water.

“80 percent of all drownings or fatalities that happen on the water result in people not wearing that life jacket,” shared Greg Gullickson, an Outreach Biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

If you’re operating a watercraft, there should be someone else acting as the observer as you are not the only one on the water.

Also, be aware of things you cannot see.

“We do see some accidents, you know that have– where you strike something on the bottom. Whether it’s a sandbar or a rock point or a rock pile. Could be, with a lot of the high water we have in North Dakota, there’s a lot of flooded vegetation out there too. Trees are especially a hazard,” shared Gullickson.

Another danger here swimmers should be aware of: rip currents.

We spoke with a Dive team captain who says if you’re caught in one swim with it, not against it.

“The water’s still cold, even in the summertime and I think it catches a lot of people by surprise if they do fall in. And we have a very strong current in our river here in the Missouri River, or in the Bismarck area. So a lot of time people don’t understand how to get out of the water when they fall in with the heavy current,” shared Troy Fleck, the dive team captain for Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department.

But thanks to technology, the process is now easier.

Game and Fish also suggest wearing a life jacket with straps instead of a zipper because straps can withstand the impact of the water.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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