Safety Officials Warn Community to Stay Safe on the Water

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“The fact is that it's dangerous water at all times so you can't give it too much respect.”

The North Platte River is a big part of Casper and Natrona County, and knowing how to stay safe while utilizing it is vital to the community

“The number one thing people can do to be safe on the river is to make sure they're wearing life jackets and in most cases a helmet is called for as well." said Justin Smith, Casper Fire PIO.

"I would hope folks recreating at our reservoirs or in the river would take proper precautions and at least make sure that even if they're near the water to where their life preserver.” said Lyle Myler of the Bureau of Reclamation.

The department of reclamation controls the flow of water into the North Platte, but doesn't control the current.

"In the month of April we had a record inflow from the tributaries between Alcova and Glendo Reservoir." said Myler.

Myler says now the flow of the river in Casper is about 600 cubic feet per second, but because of the run off near Glendo its about 3000 CFS.

“We had warmer weather and a lot of that snow up there and a lot of that snow up there ran off and it came early, it usually comes in May and June.” said Myler.

And if you find yourself in trouble in the water or caught in the current there are certain things to do to survive.

“The best thing is to remain calm, hopefully you have a life jacket on and that will help you float, then there's a rescue position where you put your feet out in front of you and your butt down. and that helps you navigate the water so that you can bounce off of obstacles and things that may entrap you.” said Smith.

Smith says having a buddy system and avoiding going on the river solo is another big part of staying safe in water.