Cobb County urges precautions as residents flock to lakes and river

Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services conducted its first water rescue of the season over the weekend. Firefighters are now bracing for more as the weather gets warmer and more people start heading to the lakes and a river.  

"We got Lake Allatoona, Lake Acworth and the river in the county. We want folks to enjoy it, get outdoors, enjoy the beautiful weather, but take precautions," said Nick Danz with Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services.  

Cobb County Fire make dozens of water rescues every year.  

"Tubes fail, rafts fail, air mattresses fail, and they're tired, they get tired on the water, and they need to be rescued," said Danz. 

Over the Memorial Day weekend, crews rescued four people who were tubing on the river.  

"Some folks got lost, it was dark, they launched a little late, couldn't find their way out," said Danz. 

Cobb County Fire has water rescue teams and boats strategically located throughout the county for the quickest response. They train for all water rescue scenarios.  

"In some areas of the river the water moves fast so they practice throwing ropes to give that person something to hang on to so they can effect a rescue," said Danz. 

While the crews train to be prepared for just about anything, they want those on the water to take precautions too. 

They say before you head out, know the weather and know the water. The level fluctuates and the current can be swift. 

If there is an emergency, know where you are. There are blue and white emergency location markers along the river and on the lakes.  

"Grab that code off the markers and give it to the 911 dispatcher and they can give us a direct location. That helps us respond faster. Some of these areas are pretty remote, not very accessible by road," said Danz.  

Danz also says always have a life jacket. If you become separated from your kayak, boat or raft, it could save your life.  

"If you have a life jacket, don't just pack it, wear your jacket," said Danz.  

If you don't have a life jacket, there are loaner stations where you can borrow one for the day.