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Be safe when paddling Nebraska waters this spring

Nothing brings out paddlers like unseasonably warm temperatures.

Those enjoying Nebraska’s water bodies and water trails are urged to be cautious this spring. While air temperatures can warm quickly, water temperatures still can be dangerous.

Nebraska Game and Parks has the following safety tips for spring kayakers:

  • There’s safety in numbers, so paddle with a friend or friends.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return home.
  • Watch the weather forecast; it can change quickly.
  • Be prepared; wear appropriate clothing for the water temperature.
  • Keep your phone and other essential supplies, such as a map and first-aid kit, in a waterproof case or bag. Attach it to your vessel in case you capsize.
  • Beware when paddling rising waters, where otherwise visible obstacles may be hidden.
  • Know your physical limits and skill level, and don’t overdo it.
  • Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water, instead.

Game and Parks also reminds paddlers that every kayak or canoe on the state’s waters must have one U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device of suitable size and readily accessible for each person on board. Each child on board age 12 and under must wear a properly sized life preserver.

For information on planning trip on Nebraska’s water trails, visit outdoornebraska.gov/watertrails.

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