Being Alert and Safe While Floating the Platte River

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Drowning remains a big concern for us and first responders when floating the Platte River.

The Platte River is a beautiful asset for our community.

During the hot summer months, many of us float the river for fun and to cool off.

But dangers also appear at this time.

"This time of year we see regular calls for possible drownings or rescues."

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is a leading factor in unintentional deaths.

Although there hasn't been a recorded drowning in our area, emergency crews still receive calls for possible cases.

Last year, they received multiple calls in just a few weeks about possible drownings.

"This year has been no different. We have some frequency of calls for concerns of drowning," said Captain Pat McJunkin from Casper Fire-EMS.

2014 was the last time a drowning occurred when an 11-year-old boy was swept into the river's currents.

Since then, efforts increased for river safety.

As of late, there have been no drownings, but calls of potential drownings still put firefighters on edge.

"We have to treat every single one like it is an actual drowning until proven otherwise."

"It's not uncommon for floaters or people that are recreating on the river to become separated from their tubes, their kayaks, their boats."

So when out on the water, firefighters recommend carrying a life jacket.

The life loaner program provides that easy opportunity.

There were 13 recorded drownings in Casper between 1990 and 2014.