While everyone is thrilled to see warmer weather coming our way, the rivers are high, running fast and are very cold. According to the National Weather Service Portland, melting snow runoff and recent rains have swelled streams and rivers and increased water flows. This creates a dangerous situation for recreational water users. The cold and swift rivers will be especially dangerous for those that enter the water. Use extra caution in or near area rivers and lakes.
According to experts, when bodies are suddenly plunged into cold water the first hazards are usually panic and shock. Initial shock can place severe strain on the body and can produce instant cardiac arrest. Immersion in cold water can quickly numb the extremities to the point of uselessness. Cold hands cannot fasten the straps of a lifejacket, grasp a thrown rescue line, or hold onto an over-turned boat. Within minutes, severe pain clouds rational thought. And, finally, hypothermia (exposure) sets in, and without rescue and proper first aid treatment, unconsciousness and death.
If you do have an emergency, know your exact location and call 9-1-1.