Boaters, swimmers taking extra precautions this holiday weekend - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Boaters, swimmers taking extra precautions this holiday weekend

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Columbia County, GA (WFXG) -

Chris Stegmaier and his son are paddling the Savannah River this Labor Day weekend, but he won't touch a paddle to the water before putting safety first.

 "There will be situations where kids will be around water and you want to ensure they're safe and can swim or at least float on their backs."

 They've been taking swimming lessons and always wear life jackets near the water, something the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says can help prevent accidents this weekend.

According to their website, the Georgia DNR recommends you never swim alone, never take your eyes off small children near water and if you don't have a life jacket, borrow one.

Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental owner Steve Wright says he's happy to lend out a jacket or two.

"We say, if you're under 15, you need to wear one."

He says 48 of his kayaks are rented out and each has a life jacket. But that's not the only requirement you'll have to pass to get to the water.

"Unless you know what you're doing, we don't rent to people going through the river. We make sure you have experience. The river can dangerous. It has been running high since June. We give you a personal flotation device, a whistle and we make sure you know what you're doing,"

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