July 3, 2012 —
In anticipation of the safe July 4 week, the National Park Service (NPS) has posted Pennsylvania and New York river access signs with bi-lingual messages that warn swimmers and boaters of the Upper Delaware’s strong current, sudden drop-offs and hidden obstacles. These signs are part of a water safety campaign to encourage river users to wear lifejackets.
“The bucolic nature of the landscape and the river is misleading and people who attempt to swim across the river often run into difficulty,” said Kevin Reish, 2012 Safety Coordinator. “Especially when they have been out in the sun all day.”
“All of the 2011 drownings could have been prevented if people had been wearing lifejackets,” said NPS Superintendent Sean McGuinness.
In addition to wearing a lifejacket at all times, all river users are encouraged to float feet first if they fall into the water and to stay upstream of their vessel. Additionally, swimmers are reminded to never swim alone. Lifejackets are mandatory if the river measures six feet at the Barryville gauge.
Visit www.nps.gov/upde/planyourvisit/riversafety.htm  for more specifics about river safety. Call the 24-hour river hotline at 845/252-7100 for air and water temperatures and river height.