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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Water Rescue Of Paddlers In Distress On Allegheny River Prompts Caution Warning

Allegheny Outfitters

Last night there was a water rescue near Tidioute on the Allegheny River for paddlers in distress. Everyone is safe without injuries thanks to our local Glade VFD Swiftwater Rescue team.

This time of year always makes us a bit nervous as an outfitter, as the sun starts to shine and air temperature rises, people are antsy to get on the water and find themselves taking chances because of it. Please folks, check water levels and water temperature. 9,000 cubic feet per second is high water, and 45 degree water is still very, very cold. Talk to local outfitters, USACE or PA Fish and Boat Commission about whether or not it's safe. If any of these organizations say it's dangerous, please take it seriously. The decision to paddle in these conditions not only puts yourself at risk, but rescue personnel as well.

Respect the river. Immersion in water colder than 60 degrees can lead to the rapid development of hypothermia and put you in dire straits in short order. (A good rule of thumb to follow is the "120 degree rule." This means you should wear a wet suit or dry suit whenever the sum of air and water temperature is equal to or less than 120 degrees.) Appreciate the importance of wearing a PFD (and remember, it's the law through April to have it on at all times). Let someone know where you're going and when you plan to return.

We're looking forward to a fun, safe paddling season. Let's all work together to make this the last time our Glade Swiftwater Rescue team has to get that call.

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