Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services last week did a press conference to remind people not to attempt to swim in the Potomac River while visiting Great Falls National Park this spring and summer.
A day before, a team of MCFRS personnel was training on the river just as a group of four swimmers jumped in for a dip. The crew was able to rescue one swimmer who had become trapped by powerful currents under the water that often aren’t visible from the surface.
“It’s very inviting, especially when it starts to get hot so they want to try and get in cool off, and they think, ‘It doesn’t look so bad,’ and it’s deadly,” MCFRS Lieutenant Chief Moe Witt told County Cable Montgomery.
Personnel from MCFRS, the National Park Service, Park Police and Fairfax County Fire & Rescue said they regularly see people walking the trails or enjoying the park decide to jump into the water to cool off.
It’s not allowed in the Potomac River Gorge, the 14-mile stretch of the river from the Key Bridge to Great Falls in Potomac. Before Memorial Day, the authorities wanted to get the word out: Don’t jump into the Potomac.