Hydro Power Companies Observe Dam Safety Awareness Week April 28-May 3
Gov. Doyle Joins Midwest Hydro Users Group and Wisconsin DNR in Promoting Public Safety at Dams
The high flows that have occurred on Midwest/Wisconsin rivers due to melting snow during March and April were a stark reminder of how powerful the forces of nature can be and how important it is to stay safe when boating, canoeing, kayaking or seeking other recreation opportunities on rivers.
Wisconsin Public Service Corporation joins with the Midwest Hydro Users Group in observing Dam Safety Awareness Week to promote public safety awareness near dams and prevent accidents throughout the boating season. The Hydro Users Group and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have been joined in promoting safety awareness by Gov. Jim Doyle who has proclaimed April 28-May 3, 2008, Dam Safety Awareness Week in Wisconsin.
The Midwest Hydro Users Group, called HUG, is an association of dam owners whose purpose is to promote safe, efficient, economical and environmentally friendly use of hydroelectric power.
The purpose of Dam Safety Week is to heighten the safety awareness of recreational and fishing enthusiasts as they return to the waterways. Many of the accidents and fatalities that occur near dams could be prevented by using common sense, practicing safety, staying clear of dams and understanding the dangers to be found near them.
HUG, DNR personnel and local safety officials offer these common sense tips to stay safe on rivers and near dams:
* Obey all warning signs, barriers and flashing lights, horns and sirens.
* Wear a personal floatation device (PFD), a life jacket.
* Leave your boat motor running to provide maneuvering power.
* Stay clear of spillways. Changing currents and “boiling” waves can make boat control difficult near dams.
* Reverse currents occur below dams; they can pull a boat back toward the dam into the spillway and capsize it.
* Never anchor boats below a dam because water levels can change rapidly.
* Especially in spring, cold water can cause hypothermia that could result in death from drowning.
* Bring a cell phone and contact 911 in an emergency.
HUG members want fishermen, boaters, outdoor enthusiasts and visitors to enjoy the many exceptional recreation resources to be found on rivers and around dams in the region. People are urged to practice safe use of the areas so that they can be enjoyed over and over again.
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