Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Phtographer 

Precautions to take while floating the river


Lara Love

Several groups enjoyed floating the Bighorn River Friday afternoon, including a bride and groom along with their wedding party.

Right now, conditions are perfect for floating the Big Horn River, but its always smart to follow a few precautions to ensure you enjoy your day.

The river is currently running at about 2,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) which will make your float about three hours long from the Wedding of the Waters to the Eighth Street bridge.

Personal flotation devices should be worn by everyone in your group, but are especially important for any children going along. While most of the river through that area is fairly shallow, there are a few places where the water runs swift and it is deep in several places.

If you are using tubes to float rather than a boat, make sure they are in good repair and holding air. A leak in a tube not only ruins your fun, but could leave you stranded along the riverbank.

While everyone hopes there won't be a glitch in your afternoon float, its a good idea to have some kind of communication with those on shore, such as a cell phone. Dry bags or even ziplock bags are great for keeping your cell phone dry in case of an emergency.

Another safety measure is to let someone know you are going and what time you intend to be home. That way, if you are late returning, that person can let emergency personnel know.

One final tip – it may be fun to float the river and have a drink or two along the way, but keep in mind the combination of the sun, the possibility of sunburn and dehydration along with alcohol consumption can have tragic consequences.

It not only slows your reaction time, it can cause you to miss potential dangers along the way, leading to injuries or other emergency situations.

If you do drink alcohol while floating the river, make sure you have a sober driver waiting for you where you get out.

Have a great time on the river with a few safety measures. Its one of the most relaxing ways to spend your afternoon and one of the most scenic adventures of the summer.


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