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Safety tips for paddlers, floaters exploring the region's waterways

(WDBJ)
Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 5:52 PM EDT
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With pleasant weather in the forecast, many people are grabbing their tubes and kayaks to explore the region’s waterways.

The boat ramp in Buchanan was busy Tuesday with people eager to start paddling.

“This is the first time this season we have been able to get out," kayaker Jane Wolf said.

The water is where Wolf and her family go to escape.

"If we can get on the river four or five times over the summer that's four or five times better spent than sitting at home," Wolf said.

Waterways like the James River can be unforgiving for those who aren't prepared.

About two weeks ago, a group of tubers got stranded in the trees during high water levels.

That's why experts say you need to plan ahead.

"It can be a very safe activity if you follow some basic rules," Twin River Outfitters Owner John Mays said.

Mays encourages people to look at the forecast and know the conditions before launching.

"You got to have good weather, good water levels, and you got to know the river you're running and the right particular section," Mays said.

Paddlers and floaters should also prepare some gear, like a life jacket and water-proof box and bag to keep a phone safe and available if there’s an emergency.

Those few extra steps will give people peace on the water.

"It's a fun way to get outside, get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors," Mays said.

Giving people a new perspective as they paddle through the region.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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