Asotin County Fire Department remind boaters about safety

CLARKSTON, WA - Outside temperatures begin to reach the 90s and people are itching to get out of the office or classroom to hit the river. But that doesn't mean the temperatures in the river are right for swimmers just yet.

"Right now it's still pretty chilly and it's deceiving," said Asotin County Fire Dept. No.1 Assistant Chief Mike Hohman.

"This morning we're running about sixty degrees," said Hohman.

And merely five feet below the surface you're looking at a brisk fifty degrees. Cold enough to hinder physical movement in about ten minutes, as Hohman explains.

"You've got a nice hot day and people want to jump in and swim around but they need to keep in mind that although the weather outside is hot the water underneath is cold," said Hohman.

For the smaller humans it's even more of a safety risk to swim at this time of year.

"I would not put children in this water," said Hohman. "It's just not a good idea. Their bodies are smaller, they don't compensate for the water and the weather changes that well."

If you're heading out on the river always remember to have enough life vests for everyone on board. And if you're on a vessel smaller than 19 feet, all kids twelve and under must be wearing a life jacket at all times. It's also very important to keep a safe distance between all boats around you to avoid accidents.