Officials urge river safety as people spend more time outdoors - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Officials urge river safety as people spend more time outdoors

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

“We encourage people to enjoy the river but respect the river," says Columbus Fire Marshal, Ricky Shores.

Shores says whichever way you choose to experience the Chattahoochee River in Uptown Columbus, everyone is required to have something in common; a life jacket.

“Just south of the North Highland Dam and continuing down to the southernmost point of the trade center you’ve got to have your life jacket on," says Shores.

It's the law. That's according to Section 14-45 of the Columbus city ordinance. Any person in the river must wear a personal flotation device. Your flotation device must be U-S Coast guard approved and be properly fitted for your weight.

“It will help keep you in an upright position but you will need to keep your head out of the water," says Shores.

Shores says in reality, due to the slippery rocks which surround the river, you should ideally wear a life jacket if you're less than 10 feet from the water.

“You have to understand if you bring your small children down here they could very easily slip and fall and drown," says Shores.

In 2017 alone, Columbus safety officials responded to seven swift water rescues and two watercraft rescues. Last year the area also saw four drowning deaths with three directly caused by the river waters.

Shores says all 13 of these incidents could have been avoided if those in the water were wearing their life jackets.

“I think the most important thing people need to realize is that even a veteran swimmer can panic. Once you panic you become unable to self rescue alot of the times. It doesn't take a whole lot of water for you to drown,” advises Shores. 

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here.

  • LocalMore>>

  • #BREAKING: Firefighters battle house fire in Seale, AL

    #BREAKING: Firefighters battle house fire in Seale, AL

    Sunday, August 19 2018 9:53 PM EDT2018-08-20 01:53:02 GMT
    News Leader 9 is on the scene of a house fire in Russell County this evening. Salem fire crews are working to control a house fully involved on 18 E-And-W Drive in Seale. That's just off of Uchee Hill Hwy. No word on any injuries or if anyone was inside the home when the fire started.  This is an active scene, we will continue to bring you the latest developments. More >>
    News Leader 9 is on the scene of a house fire in Russell County this evening. Salem fire crews are working to control a house fully involved on 18 E-And-W Drive in Seale. That's just off of Uchee Hill Hwy. No word on any injuries or if anyone was inside the home when the fire started.  This is an active scene, we will continue to bring you the latest developments. More >>
  • Top Stories on 9: Week in Review

    Top Stories on 9: Week in Review

    Sunday, August 19 2018 9:48 PM EDT2018-08-20 01:48:14 GMT
    Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.
    Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.

    If you missed the top stories this week, do not worry News Leader 9 has you covered. This past week Harris County has had to say goodbye to a close faculty member, more crime-stopping in local areas and even some national. Here is a quick look at some of the top stories from this week:

    More >>

    If you missed the top stories this week, do not worry News Leader 9 has you covered. This past week Harris County has had to say goodbye to a close faculty member, more crime-stopping in local areas and even some national. Here is a quick look at some of the top stories from this week:

    More >>
  • Sen. Doug Jones made a stop in AL and shares thoughts on economy

    Sen. Doug Jones made a stop in AL and shares thoughts on economy

    Sunday, August 19 2018 7:28 PM EDT2018-08-19 23:28:04 GMT
    Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)
    Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)

    Traveling across the state, U.S. Senator Doug Jones made a recent stop to support democrat Brian McGee, who's running for House District 38. In his first visit back to East Alabama since winning December's special election,

    More >>

    Traveling across the state, U.S. Senator Doug Jones made a recent stop to support democrat Brian McGee, who's running for House District 38. In his first visit back to East Alabama since winning December's special election,

    More >>
Powered by Frankly