Water safety tips from Lewis and Clark County Search and Rescue

Samie Robinson.JPG
Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 01, 2024

HELENA — With a string of drownings recently in Montana, safety around the water is paramount to protecting yourselves and others.

“If you think that somebody may need us or you might need us, you’re in trouble, don’t hesitate to call 911. As I said, we would much rather turn around and have the call be canceled than have us delayed because somebody was afraid to call,” says Samie Robinson, Captain of Lewis And Clark County Search and Rescue.

There have been five confirmed drownings in Montana recently.

“So, the number one thing that people can do is wear life jackets. There’s a lot of unpredictable things that can happen out on the water, including weather, other boaters, so, wearing a life jacket is one of the most important things that people can do to ensure that they’re safe,” says Robinson.

As Montanans know, our weather can change quickly. Afternoon storms can bring lightning, thunder, and severe winds.

“Just keeping an eye on the afternoon weather. Those afternoon thunderstorms can be quite surprising. There’s a lot of wind, sometimes hail, things that can limit visibility, and then, of course, causing pretty strong waves on the water that can be disruptive to boats and jet skis,” says Robinson.

An important safety tip for boaters is to have a designated driver. If you are headed out alone don’t drink, let someone know where you’re headed and how long you’ll be gone. If you’re extremely fatigued or overheated, jumping in cold water can also shock your system.

“So, just really important to encourage everybody to wear those life jackets, be safe, have fun. We love our community, and we want everybody to be safe and then go home at the end of the day,” says Robinson.