Mary Alice Reporting – Safety practices are highly recommended when it comes to kayakers going out on the river.

Water recreation has bloomed the past several years but officials are sending a message for individuals to have a safe experience.

New Philadelphia Fire Department Lt. Bobby Smith says anytime water is involved, unpredictable things can happen so it’s best practice to be prepared in a worst case scenario.

“If you have a storm or a bunch of logs get washed through, you may have debris that wasn’t there the last time you came through. The river’s fun but it can be dangerous. If you have a log, it can actually force you under the water.”

Adults are also encouraged to research the area before hand and take safety steps if taking a child out on the water.

Smith adds for anyone enjoying a recreational activity, to have a phone and a plan with a friend or relative of when you’re leaving and returning.

“People don’t want to take their phones around water but if you put it in a couple of zip lock bags, so if there is some kind of problem you can call for help. Have an idea when you get in the river [of your location] so you can get the right people to come if you need help.”

The use of life-jackets are also recommended in moving water, as well as dressing properly and wearing appropriate shoes.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2019