+ Always wear a life jacket. It's smart to wear a properly fitted life jacket while boating, tubing, fishing, wading or swimming in a river -- especially for children. The currents are even stronger than they appear, and visibility in the water is often poor.

+ Wear shoes. Rivers aren't sandy beaches. Wearing shoes will protect you against glass, rocks, sticks and other debris.

+ Never enter the water alone. Use the buddy system.

+ Do not overestimate your swimming ability. When it comes to rivers and their treacherous currents, even the strongest swimmers should be extremely cautious and should never attempt to swim across the river. River swimming, in general, is not recommended.

+ Don't panic. If you do get caught in the current, stay calm. Don't try to swim against the current or across it as fatigue will quickly set in. Instead, try to get on your back with your feet pointed downstream to push off any obstacles you may encounter. Flow with the current instead of against it, using strokes that allow the current to take you naturally to shore.

-- National Park Service