James River safety: Don’t forget your life jackets

River safety during extreme heat

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As you’re trying to fight off the hot temperatures this weekend, you might head to the James River for a quick dip.

“During the summer months, a lot of people are using the river, enjoying it, especially here in Richmond," said Justin Doyle, the Community Conservation manager for the James River Association.

But the river can be dangerous. Over the past month, there have been three deaths at the hand of the James.

In late June, a man was found after going out with a group of kayakers.

A little more than two weeks ago, a man drowned while completing the swimming portion of the Robius Landing Triathlon.

And then earlier this week, a fisherman from Goochland jumped into the water to retrieve an object.

“It’s super important for people to be safe while recreating on the river," said Doyle.

If you plan on going out on the water, Doyle has simple tips.

“When boating, wear a personal flotation device, PFD, also known as a life jacket. It’s the best way to keep you safe on the river. If you are not a strong swimmer, stay out of the river. If you’re a strong swimmer, avoid currents. Currents can carry you down river and be deadly," said Doyle.

If you see someone in distress, call 911; Richmond has a water rescue team. Don’t put your life at risk.

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