After a 44 year-old Anaconda woman was drowned in the Blackfoot River on July 4th, authorities are reminding recreationists who are rafting or tubing on Western Montana rivers to use safety equipment and common sense. Vivaca Crowser is Public Education Coordinator for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. She says area rivers are still running high and fast, and the cold water can slow reaction times, especially during the hot days to come next week.

Crowser says to never be on the water alone, and to always wear a life jacket or safety vest. High water can hide submerged logs or other debris that can tear a hole in a raft or a tube. Crowser says when recreating on the rivers with children, to make sure they have an adult with them at all times, and to give them size-appropriate life preservers or safety vests. Crowser says the woman who drowned on the 4th of July was not wearing a life preserver. Hear more safety tips from Vivaca Crowser by clicking the audio file below.

Vivaca Crowser with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks