Staying safe: Water safety precautions - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Staying safe: Water safety precautions

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) -

For generations Robert Paden and his family have enjoyed spending time on the Appomattox River.

"There is nothing more peaceful and tranquil than sitting on the river and enjoying the day," Robert Paden said.

Paden wasn't the only boater at the Hopewell Marina enjoying the spring weather, others came out to dip their boats in the water for the first time this season.

While the water may look enticing the beauty masks the dangers you could encounter if safety precautions are avoided.

"It's important to have a life preserver for each person that is on the boat and it needs to be age specific you can't have an adult wearing a child device or vice versa," Captain Jerry Hays said.

Captain Jerry Hays with Hopewell Fire & EMS told says following rules can save lives. he tells us everyone should have a safety kit and plan when heading out on the water.

"Having a fire extinguisher on the boat for accidental fires is one the requirements having a device if you need a sounding device a whistle a horn something of that nature," Captain Hays said.

That goes for all water crafts including jet skies. Captain Hays says swimmers should pay close attention to water levels at all times.

"The tides will fluctuate everyday and you may see a four foot increase or decrease from the mean tide, you want to make sure you are aware of the river and the surrounding," Captain Hays said.

For Robert safety is practice he and his family preaches every time they load their boat into bay. he encourages others to do the same.

"You can never be too safe on the river," Hays said.

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