OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Officials urge caution around fast-moving water after weekend deaths

Jun 10, 2024, 12:35 PM

Fast moving water of the Provo River...

A boy was pulled out of Provo River near Bridal Veil Falls.

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials are warning Utahns to be extra careful around fast-moving water after two people died in just 24 hours.

Steve Bullock, the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation chief of law enforcement, told Utah’s Morning News that water isn’t the only danger to those who fall in. 

“As you’re moving through on those streams and waterways you’re going to be hitting rocks. You’re going to be hitting trees and snags,” said Bullock. “There’s going to be undercurrents and eddies just really pulling you along. You’re gonna have a hard time controlling.”

Just one cubic foot of water is 62 pounds or, seven gallons. The Provo River runs  at 1500 cubic feet per second, which would overpower anyone who falls in. 

If someone falls into fast-moving water…

Officials said you should never go in after someone who falls in.

If you fall in, try to grab a branch or tree to keep yourself in place.

Although the water is high and dangerous right now, officials warn that there doesn’t need to be a lot of water to be dangerous either. Small streams can knock someone down easily, especially a child or pet. It only takes 6 inches of water to knock down an adult.

“Usually what happens is we see one person gets swept into the water and then other people go in. And we’ve seen some of those tragic accidents in the past where not only the initial victim but also the rescuer is or both are drowned or killed,” said Bullock. 

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Officials urge caution around fast-moving water after weekend deaths