Even In Low Water, The Truckee Can Be Dangerous

RENO, NV - With hot days ahead, a lot of us will be heading to the river to cool off. A few of us are likely to get into trouble.

It wasn't that long ago, people were told to stay out of the river. In fact you could be cited for jumping in or tubing through the city.

But both cities have spent a lot of money and effort in recent years building open water parks as attractions and, with few public swimming pools as safe alternatives,l this is where you're going to find the crowds on a hot day.

"With so many people coming down and enjoying this resource we have, by sheer volume some are going to get into trouble, says Reno Fireman Eric Lieberman, who heads the department's Water Entry or W.E.T. Team.

And if you get into trouble in that portion of the river through Reno, it will be Lieberman's team coming to your rescue.

They average about 40 calls a year, doubling that in a high water year, but low levels like we have this year have their own special hazards.

"Slips. trips and falls" Lieberman says is the biggest danger this year.

"The rocks can be smooth and slippery. They can go down hard. They can take a knock on the head. You can fall into the river."

So, he advises sturdy footwear, flotation devices on the kids--just a few that we saw were wearing them--and says parents should keep a close watch on the young ones.

And if you do fall....

"Especially in low water you need to keep your feet up because you need to avoid allowing your feet to become trapped in the rocks on the bottom of the river."

For those tubing down the river, he advises having a designated exit point in case you become separated.

And, he says, limit your intake of alcohol and avoid its dehydrating effects in hot weather.

Finally, there are no lifeguards on the Truckee so you're ultimately responsible for your own safety and that of your family.

Still, if you see someone else getting into trouble, you should call 9-1-1.


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