Firefighters urge people to stay safe on the river

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With the heat and the restrictions because of COVID-19 many people are heading out to the river and that’s causing a problem because many are unprepared. Firefighters in Bernalillo and Sandoval County say they’ve had to rescue a number of people who are not only, not wearing life vests but some using pool inflatables which are no match for a river.

“People underestimate the power of water,” said Paul Bearce in a press release, Fire Chief RRFR. “Even moderate flow rates can knock down an adult and hold them under the water,” he added.

While the river levels are not at their peak, they can still be powerful in some areas. Firefighters say they’ve arrived to find frightened adults and kids clinging to trees. They say you should only be using a kayak, canoe, raft or shallow bottom boat and always wear a life vest.

The Fire Department says that there are river-mile marker signs along the Rio Grande’s west bank, from the 550 bridge, south of Albuquerque. They say knowing your location on the river help responders locate you if you are in need of help.

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