If you are living in the Pacific Northwest right now, you are probably anxiously awaiting the return of the sun. We have already had record rainfall for the month of June, but tomorrow promises to be beautiful!
With this in mind, Clark County issued a media release which has some key guidance for swimming and boating in local waterways. It reads as follows:
With warm weather on the horizon, Clark County residents may soon be heading to local waterways for the first swim of the season. But area lakes and rivers are still cold, and water may be moving quickly. Public Health encourages everyone to follow a few simple strategies to stay safe and healthy while enjoying the water now and throughout the summer.
Know the water conditions
- Lakes and rivers in Southwest Washington are still cold enough to shock and immobilize even the strongest of swimmers.
- Rivers are high and swift from rain and snow melt and may be carrying debris.
- Avoid fast-flowing waters. This includes rivers and ocean beaches with riptides.
- Know your limits. Drowning often occurs when a swimmer tires.
- Don’t swim alone.
In addition to monitoring river conditions, Public Health urges people of all ages to follow these tips for safe swimming and recreating in all bodies of water:
- Never leave children unsupervised in or near water. Drowning can happen swiftly and silently. Supervision requires complete attention, even if another adult is present.
- Wear a life jacket when swimming anywhere without lifeguards or whenever on a boat, personal watercraft, inner tube or other water sport equipment.
- Ensure children always wear life jackets. Inflatable toys do not keep children safe. By law, children 12 and younger must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket or vest on all vessels 18 feet or smaller.
- Avoid alcohol and marijuana use when swimming or boating.
- Don’t dive into shallow water or jump off of bridges or cliffs.
- Swim in designated swimming areas only.
Local swimming areas: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation/swimming.htm
Boating safety: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation/sports/aquatics/boating.htm
River conditions in Southwest Washington:http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&w=gmap®ions=wa
Columbia River conditions at Vancouver: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wa/nwis/uv/?site_no=14144700&PARAmeter_cd=00060,00065
East Fork Lewis River conditions: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wa/nwis/uv/?site_no=14222500&PARAmeter_cd=00060,00065