May 24, 2019 7:00 a.m.
Ahead of the long holiday weekend the Respect the Water Safety Committee of Douglas County is reminding residents to check the water temperatures before jumping into area rivers.
The committee, consisting of members from the Douglas County Sheriff’s office, the YMCA, the Northwest Rafters Association, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and more, held a press conference Tuesday at the Umpqua Basin Water Association next to the North Umpqua River.
Speakers reminded the public that water below 60 degrees can be life threatening. A representative from the DCSO explained that the cold water can cause shock, hypothermia, and the loss of motor skills which can lead to drowning.
The speakers all emphasized that cold water can kill, and that people should check the water temperature before recreating in the river, should always wear a lifejacket in and around the water, and familiarize themselves with the lifesaving stations that have been set up in popular water recreation areas.
The committee highlighted the addition of the water temperature gage on the North Umpqua and the reporting of the daily water temperature by local media outlets.
A link to the daily water temperature can be found at www.541radio.com, and is printed daily on the front page of the News Review.