King County kicks off river safety campaign
July 11, 2012
Even though the air is warmer, the rivers are still cold and the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Public Health – Seattle & King County and King County Sheriff’s Office are urging recreationalists to exercise caution around open water, according to a press release.
Public health and safety officials this week are kicking into high gear a campaign to heighten awareness of river dangers and what people can do to help prevent drownings. A mailer that urges life jacket use and provides other river safety information — including resources for affordable and discounted lifejackets — will be sent to more than 30,000 addresses within about one mile of major King County river recreation areas, according to the release.
And new signage is being installed at riverside recreation areas. The yellow signs say, “Warning, River is Dangerous,” and are going up at more than a dozen popular river put-in locations on King County Parks land.
“Rivers are dynamic systems, and they are always changing,” said Christie True, director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. “Warm weather and cold water can be a dangerous combination, and we urge all river users to exercise a high degree of caution and awareness when recreating on any of King County’s beautiful rivers.”
“We want you to have fun and also return home safely from river recreation, so please use caution and wear a PFD on the water,” said Dr. David Fleming, director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Before venturing into open water, King County health and safety officials remind river users to:
- Wear a life jacket;
- Not use alcohol and drugs, which can impair judgment in an emergency;
- Keep children within reach, always watching them closely near and in water;
- Choose safer swimming options with lifeguards present, such as a beach, lake or pool; and
- Know river conditions before getting in the water.
The county’s river safety campaign is funded by the King County Office of Risk Management’s Loss Control Fund.
Learn more at www.kingcounty.gov/riversafety.