Safety First! River Safety Tips from John Burchett


It’s springtime and that means folks all over the area are itching to get out into our beautiful mountains and rivers. No matter what you’re planning to do this spring, it’s important to stay safe, especially if you’re planning to spend time on or around the Tug Fork River. Williamson Forward talked to local resident and Friends of the Tug Fork River member John Burchett to get some tips for how to stay safe on the water.


The most important thing, John says, is always the buddy system. “Never go alone,” he says.

If you can’t use the buddy system, but still want to head out on the water, he advises folks to make sure someone knows where they are and what they’re doing. “Tell someone your plans for the day,” he says. “Where you will go in, and take out, and how long you expect to be gone– all of this is important information.”


It’s also important to make sure you have a Personal Flotation Device, or PFD. “Always wear your PFD,” John says. “Don’t just have one in your boat. Most boating accidents are fast and unexpected, and you can be separated from your boat and gear if you turn over.”


Going out onto the Tug is a great way to spend your days during warmer temps, whether you’re fishing, floating, or boating. Just remember to stay safe while you’re out there!


Follow the Friends of the Tug Fork River Facebook Group page for river condition updates from John and Gracie(pictured above), fishing tips, river events, and more!


All photos from John Burchett

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