This weekend is the kick-off of the river recreation season in Wyoming. Rivers are running high and fast, which is a lure for whitewater lovers, but it’s also the time of year when river accidents peak.
Kevin Lewis was a long-time board member for American Whitewater who has more than 40 years of experience running rivers around the country. He says as Wyomingites hit the water this year with kayaks, canoes, rafts and boats, they should remember that rivers change from year-to-year – new logs create underwater snags and even big rocks may have moved.
Lewis says also keep in mind that even when the outdoor temperatures ramp up, Wyoming rivers are still cold. Cold water drains your strength and robs you of the ability to make sound decisions on matters affecting your survival.
Lewis stated that it’s also important to be honest with yourself and others you may be boating with about your skill level. High-running water is not the time to push skill levels.
A properly fitting helmet and life vest are essential even for experts, as well as basic safety and rescue gear.