Flooded waters pose danger to boaters - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Flooded waters pose danger to boaters

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We're keeping a close eye on river levels this weekend. But if you're out on the river there's some very important information you should hear.

We are above flood stage and these swift, debris-filled floodwaters can pose a serious threat to boaters this weekend.

That doesn't mean you absolutely can't get out on the water, but if you do, Adams County Volunteer Emergency Corps' Glenn Sanders says there are two things you should always do.

"Slow down and keep alert. View ahead of you on the water. That way if there is floating debris you've got time to react," said Sanders.

Something more, Sanders says, is to wear your life jacket.

Even the strongest of swimmers are no match for the swifter-than-usual current on the Mississippi and he says it's your best defense to save your life.

Even if it's within a quick reach, you're not going to be able to swim over to it like you might under normal conditions.

Sanders says experienced boaters can run into trouble from time to time. Especially in flood waters like what we have right now.

"It's been the same scenario every time," said Sanders. "Where a boat gets too close to a log jam or brush pile and the current tips the boat over when it hits the brush pile or actually rolls the boat underneath the brush pile."

Sanders says if you find yourself capsized in the floodwater, do not try to swim away.

"If you've got a secure situation out there where you've got a hold of a log, stay put," said Sanders. "Don't try to test your swimming abilities just to get to another location because where you're at right now, you're safe but you may not make it to your intended location."

Sanders says by hanging on, you're buying yourself a lot of time to wait for someone to pass by and spot you.

Sanders says to let someone know exactly where you'll be and when you plan to return so that if you don't come home, then you know help will be on the way.

Boaters are required by law to carry a whistle on board. And in a case where your boat capsizes, you're not going to be able to blow a horn or get to your phone. If you keep that whistle within reach, or around your neck, it could just be the thing that gets someone attention to send for help.

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