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    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

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Water Safety Weekend in the New River Gorge

River Ranger with kids in raft
River ranger teaches young park visitors smart water safety techniques.
NPS

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News Release Date: May 15, 2013
Contact: Richard Altare, 304-466-0417

Glen Jean, West Virginia, May 14, 1013 - A frantic call for help, shocked and shattered family and friends standing on the riverbank, an agonizing search for a victim's body by park rangers and rescue personnel. It is the sad but true reality that every spring we prepare for this tragic, unnecessary, and easily preventable scenario in our beautiful area parks and waterways. This Memorial Day Weekend (May 25 - 27, 2013), the National Park Service at New River Gorge National River and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Bluestone Lake will present their annual Water Safety Weekend to help visitors safely prepare for the season's activities on area rivers and lakes.

Each Ranger-led activity is designed to demonstrate simple water safety practices that everyone can use to protect their family and friends when recreating in or around area waterways. Proper fitting and use of a PFD (personal flotation device) or life jacket, boating safety on whitewater, flat-water, and lakes, plus safe ways to wade, fish and swim, will be highlighted. Visitors who participate in the Saturday program at Canyon Rim Visitor Center or the Sunday program at Bluestone Lake will receive a free "I Got Caught Being Safe" water safety T-shirt. Also there will be free boat rides with a park ranger on Sunday afternoon on Bluestone Lake.

The mission of the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not only to protect and manage our public waterways, but to protect and educate visitors on safe enjoyment of these beautiful public lands. Here is the event schedule. All programs are FREE. Stay safe on the water!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

River Ranger Rendezvous
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Sandstone Falls Boardwalk, River Road near Hinton. Learn easy tips to stay safe when you go out on your next fishing or boating river adventure. Come and go as you please for this informal program near the water's edge. 

Water Safety Roundup
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Canyon Rim Visitor Center, Lansing. Do you know how to throw a water rescue bag or how to make sure you've got the best life jacket for you? Have fun as you try your hand at smart water safety techniques like this and more --- from the safety of land.
 
Sunday, May 26, 2013

Water Safety Festival
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. "The Pits" boat-launch area on Bluestone Lake, Route 20, Hinton. This hands-on festival for all ages features watercraft safety, life jacket fittings, water rescue demonstrations, and much more. See how you can put these smart water safety tips into action at every turn. Boat rides will also be available.

Monday, May 27, 2013

River Ranger Rendezvous
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Sandstone Falls Boardwalk, River Road near Hinton. Learn easy tips to stay safe when go out on your next fishing or boating river adventure. Come and go as you please for this informal program near the water's edge.
 
May 25 through 27, 2013

Water Safety and You
9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, Sandstone Visitor Center in Sandstone. Stop by the visitor center to see ways you can stay safe while on your next water adventure in this special exhibit. Chat with a ranger about river tips too.
 
For more details about this event or area National Park Service sites visit http://www.nps.gov/neri, check out the park Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps, or stop by or call any New River Gorge National River visitor center (304-574-2115 or 304-466-0417). For more details about Bluestone Lake visit www.corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/Bluestone.

Did You Know?

View of New River at McCreery, WV

The New River was designated an American Heritage River on July 30, 1998. There are currently fourteen American Heritage Rivers in the country.