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Recreational boaters advised of heavy rains' hazards

High water levels can pose serious risks for boaters

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) advises recreational boaters to use extreme caution this summer as heat and unstable weather systems are leading to flash flooding.

Several incidents in which boaters have tried to navigate waters that were affected by heavy rain have resulted in fatalities and injuries. High water levels and trash and debris that could be floating in the water can make it hazardous to navigate rivers.

In the past few weeks, areas of Virginia have received significant amounts of rainfall, making water levels dangerously high in some rivers.

If you are a canoer, kayaker or other recreational boater using a river, the DGIF recommends that you check local river conditions, check your local forecast, be aware that high water will force the temporary closing of some boat ramps, make sure someone knows where you will be and make sure you have the proper equipment and are properly fitted for a life jacket.

The DGIF also recommends taking a boating safety course, whether it is required by law or not.