Park managers urge safety around rivers, lakes during Memorial Day weekend

May 26, 2023, 11:22 AM | Updated: 11:27 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Keeping people safe in and around water is a big concern for park managers this holiday weekend.

With record snowpack this year, the runoff season is still going strong. Ty Hunter with Utah State Parks and Recreation said the safest thing Utahns can do is stay away from fast-flowing streams and rivers.

“Banks could be eroding where you’re standing and may be undercut so that’s why we want people to watch from afar,” he said.

Hunter said it’s important to do these three things:

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • If you can, take a boating education class beforehand — you’ll be even more prepared.
  • Don’t operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

“You need a designated driver when you’re on the water. You’re more susceptible to the heat, the sun it’s just adding different stressors,” Hunter said.

Something else to keep in mind is carbon monoxide poisoning on boats. Hunter said engine exhaust can build up in and around boats under certain conditions.

Parents should also designate a “water watcher” — someone who is off their phone and paying attention to little ones and people in or near water.

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Park managers urge safety around rivers, lakes during Memorial Day weekend