Warmer weather is a reminder about spring river safety

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Updated: 4/29/2013 9:38 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- With temperatures near record highs, it's tempting to want to cool off in the river but the waters are still very cold and getting into the river too soon can be dangerous.

"Any time you get in the water and you get cold you're going to get tired a lot quicker," said Matt Peek, Reno Fire Department wet team director.

Peek says the river doesn't need to be deep to be a danger.

"It's a lower flow year but it's still cold water," Peek said.

Even this early in the season the current can be a threat.

"The worst part is the current. When it gets deep and it gets swirly people tend to panic," Peek said. "The truckee can be quite safe if you approach it properly."

Peek says luckily so far this spring no one has been seriously injured.

The most recent rescue call was Saturday afternoon after three boys attempted to float the river on a mattress.

Peek says once the river is ready for rafting it's important to use proper equipment.

"Start with a life jacket and then from there a good pair of shoes, throw on a helmet that's never a bad idea," Peek said. 

He says to avoid drinking alcohol before getting in the river and swimming after dark, but says if you're smart about using the river safely it's a fun resource for our community.

"It's a great place to play," Peek said. "I've been doing it since I was a kid and I take my girls down there all the time."
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