Kings River Conservancy offers river safety tips

Reedley non-profit provides several tips to stay afloat on the river this summer, tips include certain behaviors and hazards to avoid while out on the water

Kings River on Ave 400 outside of Kingsburg. (Kenny Goodman)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published June 11, 2024  • 
11:30 am

REEDLEY – With school out and temperatures high, the Kings River will provide children a great spot to spend their free time and beat the heat. Looking to keep local swimmers safe, the Kings River Conservancy has released several pieces of advice for young swimmers. 

The KRC recommends that kids wear personal flotation devices and that adults watch children closely when they are on or near any type of water. This allows the adult to be close enough to reach the children in case of an emergency. 

Certain conditions require attention from swimmers according to the KRC. As little as six inches deep, water that may look calm on the surface can have enough force to knock you off your feet. This can result in the swimmer getting swept downstream towards hazards and leaving strong swimmers unable to reach shore. 

The KRC also recommends swimmers to watch out for certain hazards such as a slippery and uneven river bottom that, combined with the current, can sweep swimmers off their feet. Swimmers should also keep an eye out for debris that can trap them underwater leading to hypothermia or even death. When swimmers wade through the water, they should also look out for sudden drop offs. 

Swimmers are recommended to avoid certain activities while at the river. The KRC says that swimmers should not use alcohol or drugs while recreating on the river, and that they should avoid rock hopping because the rocks might be slippery. The KRC states that locals should never float down the river alone and they should make sure there is at least one oared craft in their group in case rescue is needed. 

The KRC has several bits of advice in case of emergencies. If rescue is necessary, attempt it from shore and recruit help if possible. If you fall into fast-moving water, the KRC recommends not standing up and instead floating on your back with your feet pointing downstream, your toes pointing up toward the surface, always looking downstream and fending off rocks with your feet. 

With these tips that the Kings River Conservancy has provided, local swimmers should have a much safer time out on the water this summer.

Mid Valley Times Staff