Swift water safety tips

Each year we see many water rescues and even a few deaths in our rivers. Poudre Fire Authority offers these water safety tips:

1. Tell someone where you are going. 

Or better yet, go with a partner. Let someone know when you expect to return and if your plans change, and be sure to leave a note on your dashboard to alert others.

2. Be prepared.

Children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear life jackets, even if they aren’t planning on getting in the water. Also, be aware that not many places west of Ted’s Place (intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Colorado Highway 14) have cell service.

3. Don’t forget the power of the river.

Seriously though. The river is strong and usually calls the shots. Remember that water is high during spring runoff and also after heavy rains (or a late snow in May).

Also, be wary of river banks. Even if you’re not planning on swimming, banks can be unstable and give way beneath you.

4. Know your surroundings.

Check the weather ahead of time and keep an eye on the skies.

5. Know what to do.

If you’re caught in any fast-moving water, try to float feet-first in a half-sit position.

6. Reach or throw, DON’T GO.

If someone is caught in fast-moving water, reach out or throw something to them. Don’t go into the water yourself or you may also be swept away. Also, call 911 as soon as you can.

7. Carry a first-aid kit.

Or take a CPR class. These may seem like no-brainers, but having basic tools and knowledge may save be all that’s required to save a life.

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