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Casperites Call for Stricter Life Vest Laws

As the search for Cressy continues many people are echoing the thought there are ways these kinds of losses can be prevented.
The North Platte, like every other moving body of water, doesn't discriminate. Strong swimmers can die in the rapids just like everyone else. Which is why precautions should be taken on the river.
Heidi Markus, a registered nurse, said, "Wear a life jacket or a personal flotation device, because at least then you can float and you don't have to tread water and can conserve your energy."
Some say wearing a life jacket needs to stop being a suggestion and start being rule.
Luke Keil, owner of the local rafting tour company Platte River Raft n Reel said, "It's a really easy fix, we need to make this eighth of a mile stretch regulation where you have to have a life jacket on."
Game and Fish Wardens do observe river-goers to see if they have life vests with them.
Markus said, "But you don't have to have it on. You can have it wrapped around your tube. which does your tube a great amount of good but not so much you."
Keil says the only way to make people take the life preserver rules seriously, is to start enforcing rules.
Keil said, "Start hitting people with a fine. $250 fine and people will stop."
He says this issue should be approached the same way seatbelts were; back when they went from optional to mandatory.
Keil said, "We just need to wear lifejackets, just like when you're driving a car, you make regulations to make it a safe place."
But as Markus points out, as we see all too often, people tend to ignore rules put in place to save their lives.
Markus said, "They don't wear life jackets, they don't wear helmets, the don't wear seatbelts. You can give advice to people but you can't make them do it.
As Casper fire officials recommend all river users wear a life vest. If you don't have one, you can borrow one for free at the Pump House or any Casper fire station.


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