Keeping safe on the Tar River

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As many people head to the water to cool down on hot days, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not always fun and games.

Boaters say the Tar River is known to be dirty and they always have to keep an extra eye of the water in front of them.

“I fish in it all the time, but I would never swim in the Tar River,” said Denny Moore.

Moore says he’s been fishing in the Tar for years. Over his time on the water, he has seen many dangerous situations.

“You can get tangled up into logs, you can get tangled up in the brush, the current can get a hold of you and pull you under, it’s dirty, it’s just a river and it’s not a safe place to swim.”

Moore says if you aren’t careful the Tar River could cost you thousands.

“If you’re running off plain and you hit a log with your lower unit, it can tear your lower unit off; it can even tear the whole motor off.”

Wildlife officer Gary Harrison patrols the water daily. He says when out on any body of water, safety should always come first.

“You’re going to need at least a wearable life jacket for each person on board, the appropriate size and conditions, a fire extinguisher in many cases, also make sure it has proper charge and make sure you have a whistle or horn,” said Harrison.

He has tips on if something gets caught in the motor.

“Turn off that engine so before you get in close proximity to the engine, whether you’re in the water or leaning over the back to work on it is to cut it off that way you don’t have a chance of being injured by the prop or any other mechanisms that are moving. Then check to see if there’s any easily removable debris from the prop area.”

Organizations such as Sound Rivers work hard to clean up trash and debris off the water, but boaters should always be aware of their surroundings.

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