Water parks are a lot of fun, especially in the blistering heat of summer. Today, let’s talk about a few lazy river safety tips. A lazy river is a floating water ride that is found in most water parks. Basically, it’s a relaxing float down a slow-moving shallow river. In ideal situations, a lazy river should give the rider a gradual trip down a scenic path, laughing with family and friends along the way. However, like all water activities, drowning is always a serious danger.
In this post, let’s take a look at how tragedy can strike without warning and then discuss lazy river safety tips.
Lazy Rivers Aren’t Always Safe
While most water park rides are intense, the lazy river tends to be a slower affair. That said, slow doesn’t always equal safe. Drowning happens quickly and without warning. This can even occur on something as seemingly safe as a lazy river ride.
Before ignoring the importance of lazy river safety, take the following tragic story from 2018 into account. A 12-year-old boy took a ride down a lazy river and ended up being trapped underwater for about eight minutes.
As it turns out, the boy’s foot had become stuck in an intake pipe. Fortunately, he is still alive thanks to the lifeguards and other riders who helped him. For more details, you can watch the full story about the harrowing ordeal here via the New York Post:
Lazy River Safety Tips
One of the reasons why lazy rivers can be so dangerous stems from overcrowding. Now, during the COVID-19 outbreak, lines will likely be much shorter than usual. However, this doesn’t eliminate danger. Bumping and crashing between tubers can cause injury along the lazy river. Additionally, small children may not be able to properly control their tubes.
This can lead to panicking or cause them to float away from their guardians. Active supervision is always important, but it can be extra crucial at amusement parks. Your safety in a lazy river may depend upon it. Due to the relaxing nature of the river, adults may be tempted to shirk their duties. It can seem quite easy to trust that the park will act as your lifeguard. Unfortunately, this could become a grave mistake. Lazy rivers can be more chaotic than they seem.
Here are just a few of the dangers riders may face:
- Overexcited or panicked riders that can crash into unsuspecting riders and topple them out of their tubes.
- Excited crowds can make it difficult for lifeguards to notice a struggling swimmer.
- The water can be deceptively dangerous. It only takes a few inches of water to cause drowning danger. When it comes to lazy river safety, the shallow water may still submerge a small child’s head.
- Children can easily fall off their tubes, into the crowded river. Remember, pool toys and inner tubes are not the same thing as a U.S. Coast Guard approved floatation device. They are designed for play, not for safety.
In the end, lazy river safety largely boils down to personal responsibility. When guardians are paying close attention to children, and the buddy system is in play, these rides can be quite relaxing. Just remember to respect lazy river safety guidelines. They could save your life or the lives of people close to you.