COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio has experienced steady rains and rising waters in the past week. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) urges Ohioans and visitors to avoid high, fast-moving water in rivers and streams.
“With the increased amount of rain, extra precautions are essential to ensure that the strength, depth and speed of a river does not exceed people’s swimming or paddling skills or that of their equipment,” said ODNR Director Jim Zehringer. “Always remember to a wear life jacket while boating. It’s a simple decision that can save lives.”
The rain is expected to continue throughout the weekend for much of Ohio so lakes, rivers and streams will remain high and swift moving creating and concealing hazards. These conditions pose dangers for boaters, swimmers, paddlers and anglers.
High and fast stream currents, downed trees that act as “strainers,” undercut and eroded banks, debris and other underwater obstacles can be dangerous to people walking, wading or boating in or near a waterway. ODNR recommends “scouting” a stream before launching a boat or wading in an unfamiliar area. Boaters are urged to file a float plan with a responsible person. Capsizing or falling unexpectedly into high, fast water can be life-threatening.
ODNR further advises Ohioans and visitors to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating and when wading and fishing in rivers, lakes or streams.