ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — With the warmer weather, more people will start hitting the water.
Whether it be canoeing rafting, kayaking or tubing, water officials say that once you get out on the river, it all comes down to preparation and education.
On Tuesday, two women were making their first trip down to the Madison River Park on Lindsey Bridge Road.
They realized they couldn’t swim and had to call for help to be rescued around 3:30 p.m.
Crews had to lower a rope and life jackets over the bridge before sending a swimmer out to bring the two to safety with no injuries.
It was Rockingham County’s second water rescue this year.
“You need a life jacket any time you’re on the water,” said Brian Williams, program manager for Dan River Basin Association.
Williams says to also know your surroundings and where the different access points of the river are.
“We developed signage to tell you where these things are,” he said.
Madison Fire Chief Jim Ritchey says the rescue made Tuesday was more of a service call and not a true emergency.
“A true rescue will be a traumatic injury, somebody near drowning, missing, car in the water,” he said.
Rocks were also added to raise the water level.
Hours after the rescue Tuesday, crews were out on the water training for water rescues. It was the first of about three sessions that will happen this year.
First responders want you to know they are ready in case of an emergency but want to avoid situations like this.
They say before you hit the water come prepared and educated.
“It’s not like swimming in a pool or a controlled environment or a water park. It can be a dangerous place,” said Ritchey.
Ritchey says if you find yourself needing help, make sure it’s a true emergency like an injury or near-drowning before calling to make an emergency water rescue,
He says there are different agencies that have to come together to make the rescue happen.
If it’s something minor, they say give them a heads up so they can send the right amount of people and resources your way.