Free River Safety Class Held Saturday

RENO, Nev. Despite the low water levels, these hot summer days may have you heading to the Truckee River to cool off. But representatives from the Truckee River Foundation say even the low water can prove dangerous, especially for younger swimmers.

That is why this Saturday, they are hosting their 10th annual Stay Afloat River Safety Fair. The free, 50-minute workshop is a chance for kids ages 5-13 to learn the basics of river safety.

"We're going to have very specific instructions of how to swim safely through the white water park," Jim Litchfield from the Truckee River Foundation said.

The class covers how to properly fit your life jacket and helmet, and instructors will show kids how to safely navigate the currents of the river.

"If we can save one life it's worth it," Litchfield said. "I think people underestimate the power of the river and we want to make sure we can instill kids with a sense of safety."

Parents are encouraged to attend, and are required to accompany kids 8 and younger.

Litchfield says the low water may lure people into a false sense of security and they are taking the opportunity to explore new places of the river.

"The biggest danger is drowning and rocks and with the lower water the rocks are just as hard," he said. "Even outside the white water park the Truckee River can lure people into a level of complacency because it doesn't look as threatening. But the water can still do the same exact things it can do when it's high."

The safety fair will be held in Wingfield White Water Park Saturday, July 12th from 10am-3pm. Registration begins at 9am and classes fill up on a first come, first serve basis.

Thanks to sponsorships from the Dixie May Foundation, The Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the City of Reno, each participant will be able to keep the equipment free of charge upon completing the course.