HARDY, Ark. (KAIT) - Spring River is usually popular around this time of year, but officials say it’s even busier than usual. Officials say it’s important to take precautions.
Hardy Police Department says they’ve received many calls about potential drowning situations over the past couple of months, including two in the past two weeks.
“This year does seem to be pretty active, and maybe even more active than usual,” Scott Rose with the Hardy Department of Public Safety said. “I don’t know if that’s because of the people being couped up or if it’s just everybody ready to get out or what, but it does seem extremely busy.”
The consensus among officials and local canoe rental shops is that not only are there dangerous parts to the river, but they’ve also seen many not take the necessary precautions to stay safe.
“There’s a lot of people that just flat out refuse to look at any kind of safety [measures],” Tim Knoblin, Owner at River Wilderness Sports said. “That happens a lot up here.”
Rose adds the two biggest concerns he sees are people being intoxicated and not wearing a life jacket on the river.
“A lot of [people] seem to go too far,” Rose said. “We have issues on a regular basis where over-intoxicated to a dangerous level that we have to deal with. We’ve had to help people out of the water that [were] near-misses.”
Rose complimented Hardy Water and Rescue as well as Arkansas Game and Fish among others for their rescue efforts, but he said that people need to be sure to take the necessary measures, such as wearing a life jacket and limiting alcohol intake to keep everyone safe and help prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.