River safety savvy


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Runoff from melting snow has created high waters and powerful currents and accidents like Monday's (leaving two women stranded and a young man nowhere to be found) are bound to happen, if you aren't careful.

Mesa County Search and Rescue has already been dispatched on several swift water missions but experts say the danger can easily be avoided.

Most accidents on the water actually happen while getting on and off of a boat or raft.

And if you do fall in... "You need to get into a sitting position," says BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner, Andy Windsor. "You need feet down stream and then you need to swim over to the boat."

But swimming in speedy currents isn't easy and safety experts like Windsor say you should always have a PFD, a personal floatation device.

They also say rafts and tubes from box stores, like Walmart and K-Mart, aren't meant for rivers and only boats or rafts made for the powerful currents should be used.


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