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13 Jul, 2015

Safety Tips for Water Activities This Summer

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 10, 2015 — With the water recreation season in full swing this summer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds customers to be safe around lakes, rivers and other waterways. Recreationists should take added precautions as severe drought conditions throughout the state have changed water levels and created hazardous conditions.

PG&E operates a vast network of hydropower facilities and recreation areas throughout the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade mountain ranges. Reservoirs, dams, rivers, and streams are available to the public for swimming, fishing and boating, as well as campgrounds, picnic areas, boat launches and hiking trails. The utility is asking its customers to play it safe and to follow these water safety tips, which are applicable anywhere else in the world, too:

Water Safety Tips

(+) Be cautious and check water levels before jumping into lakes and rivers. Severe drought conditions have brought unseen hazards like underwater rocks and trees closer to the surface.

(+) Never leave children swimming unattended. Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

(+) Never get into a water canal or flume. Canals and flumes have steep, slippery sides and icy cold water, and it can be very difficult to get out of one. Stay off of walkways next to flumes and canals.

(+) Always wear a life jacket and don’t swim or boat alone. Conditions change quickly in open water and even the best swimmers can misjudge the water and their skills when boating or swimming. Wearing a life jacket can increase survival time.

(+) Take a boating safety course. Operator inexperience, unsafe speed and inattention are the leading causes of boating accidents.

(+) Make sure that people borrowing your vessel know how to operate it. The majority of personal watercraft or jet ski related accidents occur when someone other than the registered owner is operating the vessel.

(+) Learn and follow local rules for water recreation activities at the site you’re visiting.

For more safety information, visit the California Division of Boating and Waterways website at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/

PG&E’s hydropower system is one of the largest in the U.S., and it provides clean, renewable energy and a variety of recreation opportunities. Before visiting any of these recreation sites this summer, take a moment to learn about hydropower and how to be safe when recreating near a facility by visiting www.pge.com/hydrosafety.