Staying Safe While Canoeing

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HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY – Canoeist and Kayakers are getting their boats out on the water again, but recent rain fall in our region is making things a bit difficult out on the waterways.


“Learning the rivers, knowing where you’re going, watching for hazards ahead,” said Sean Snyder, owner of Mountain River Outfitters. “Anything can change on the river.”


In the past week alone, there have been two water rescues in our area – along the Susquehanna River in Clearfield County and in the Clarion River in Elk County.


Denny Walls, of the Geeseytown Water Rescue Team, was called out to the search in the Susquehanna River.


“We understand that there were not sufficient enough PFDs (Personal Floatation Device) issued to everybody and that’s of course a major no-no.”


According to Snyder, having a life vest is the biggest thing when you’re out on the water.
“A lot of people thing during summer you don’t need a life vest. If you’re out on high water, its always a good idea to have a proper PFD.”


Snyder also said having a throw rope, first-aid kit and any kind of floatation in your boat is a good idea, so is wearing the right type of gear to help with colder water.


“Having it is one thing, knowing how to use is completely different thing,” said Snyder.


But for kayaker Jim Brower, of Raystown, it’s more than just having the right gear.


“If you’re going to go kayaking you should go with two people at least. You should let someone know where you’re going and we’re you’re planning on ending at”


Even when you are out with a group, it’s important to stay close together, in case any type of emergency would happen.


“If you’re in a group make sure that everybody stays in contact with each other, don’t get out ahead of anybody and get away from the rest of the group,” said Walls


Just because it’s warm outside, doesn’t mean the water is warm. Walls and Snyder said people have to aware of those cold temperatures this early in the season.

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