Avoiding potential hazards when floating near Phoenix Park

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- The Eau Claire Fire Department says if you're floating down the river near Phoenix Park to avoid the crane that's positioned by the Grand Avenue Bridge.

Firefighters say the water current has the potential to push you up against it, and can tip your tube over and pull you with the current. The department also says you should know your own swimming abilities and not be embarrassed to wear a life jacket because it could make all the difference.

“I always say don't worry about your tan, it’s better to be alive than to drown,” said Dave Whitehouse with the Eau Claire Fire Department. “Along the river there are old pilings that were used back in the day for capturing logs, I believe, and when the water levels low you can see them; when the water level is just right they may be just under the water and I think the biggest danger from those is popping the tube.”

Whitehouse also notes that due to the darkness of the water, you can't see the bottom of the river. While you can touch the ground in one spot, he says the next spot could be 2 feet over your head. He says the bottom depth changes every year.

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