Ah, summer-- it’s one of the most beautiful seasons, and one of the best times of the year to get outside and enjoy nature! Williamson and the surrounding region is rich with a variety of beautiful natural features, and plenty of things to do. You can go hiking or biking along the trails, go camping, or just spend time in your backyard and soak in the sun. Of course, with the temperature rising, and the Tug Fork River right in our backyard, it can be hard to resist a little time in the water to cool off, and who can blame us? Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, or wading, the Tug Fork has something to offer all of us.
Staying Safe on the Water
Of course, if you want to spend some time in or on the water, there are some things you need to keep in mind. While enjoying water activities there are plenty of risks to keep in mind. These risks can be avoided if one practices water safety and makes wise decisions. Williamson Forward talked to local river enthusiast John Burchett about some water safety tips.
Don’t Forget Your Protective Gear!
“The most important safety advice for small craft boating is to wear a personal flotation device (PFD),” John says. “When you are canoeing or kayaking, a well-fitting PFD should be worn at all times.” It’s possible for your boat to flip, or for you to suddenly find yourself outside of your boat, without any warning, and it’s not uncommon along the Tug. “If you aren’t wearing your life jacket, you will be immediately separated from it, and it will be of no use,” John warns.
Bring A Buddy
John also suggests avoiding going out on the water by yourself. “It’s not a good idea to go out alone,” he says. “Use the buddy system when you’re on the water. If one person has an emergency, the other person can act as a rescuer or go for help.”
Another important move to make when going out on the water is you should always make sure someone knows where you are. “You should always tell someone your plans,” John says. “Tell them when and where you will put in the water, and tell them when and where you plan to take out of the water.” John explains, if something does happen, first responders will be able to find you.
One more tip? “Take some form of communication with you,” John says. “A cell phone or a two-way radio can save your life in an emergency!”
Spending time on the river or lake is a great way to spend some time this summer, but remember to stay safe out there!