Utah County officials put out river safety advisory notice after weekend drownings

UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — In the wake of two drowning deaths over the weekend, officials in Utah County issued a river safety advisory notice to the public on Tuesday.

The statement — the combined efforts of Provo Police and Fire, Orem Public Safety, and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office — provided more information about the bodies of water within the county, and offered ways for Utahns to stay safe.

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“Rivers and creeks in the area are channeling snowmelt from the surrounding mountains, which increases the volume and speed of most waterways throughout the county,” the advisory said. “Of particular concern is the Provo River, which is currently running ten times faster than usual levels.”

In the advisory, officials said the Provo River is expected to reach peak levels within the next two weeks. Officials are urging “extreme caution around the river” and follow safety practices.

In the advisory, officials said Utahns should stay at least 40 feet away from riverbanks and wear life jackets when on or near the river. Lifejackets are a requirement in the unincorporated areas of Utah County, according to the advisory.

Pets should be kept on a leash, and you should heed any posted closures or advisories at trails and parks.

“Know where your children are roaming during summer break,” the advisory said.

Utahns are also encouraged to talk to their children about the dangers associated with water, and to teach them about staying 40 feet away from rivers.

Furthermore, you are encouraged to avoid recreating along the Provo River until later in the summer, and Utahns are being told they should not recreate near a waterway alone.

“Our heartfelt condolences are with the families of those who lost their lives this past weekend,” officials said in the advisory. “We ask our community to do all they can to ensure no more lives are lost to water recreation incidents this summer.”

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