Respect Mother Nature

Exercise caution when heading to the water this summer

Summer is the perfect time for getting outside and enjoying some of what makes living in the North State so great: the parks, the trails, the water! So it seemed appropriate to dedicate this issue to outdoor adventures that involve getting wet. At the same time, after hearing about so many recent water rescues—and a few tragic deaths—we also feel it’s important to encourage safety on the water this summer.

Most of the rescues, injuries and deaths each year involve at least one bad decision, says Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Lt. Dennis Schmidt. Those include not wearing life jackets, being intoxicated, or leaving for a float or paddle too late in the day (rescue personnel generally won’t go on the water after dark for their own safety, Schmidt warns). It’s also important to understand your own limitations—maybe you can’t swim that well—and respecting the forces of nature.

We hope to have great adventures this summer, and that you do, too. But, when you get into your kayak on the lake, or tube down the river with a group of friends, take proper precautions. Same goes for that afternoon swim in Bear Hole or wherever your favorite spot is. Too many people have become seriously injured—paralyzed even—from attempting risky feats, like jumping from the cliffs.

Have fun, but be safe about it. Now, get out there!