Potomac River safety priority for Montgomery Co. authorities this Labor Day weekend

Authorities in Montgomery County, Maryland, are reminding people of some water safety tips for what’s expected to be ideal weather during the holiday weekend.

The temptation to cool off in the Potomac River can make you forget how dangerous — and illegal — swimming in the water actually is.

That’s why crews with Montgomery County’s Swift Water Team have been getting the word out about how Labor Day revelers can avoid putting themselves in harm’s way. Tips include staying out of the water and away from rock edges.

A strong current, spiking water levels and slippery rocks have either killed, maimed or endangered several people this summer alone.

Three men went missing in early August after falling off their boat in the Potomac.

D.C Fire authorities had to rescue three groups of people who were stranded on islands in the river after storm surge cut off their route back to the shore in late June.

And a teenager was seriously injured after taking a 20 foot plunge off a rock over Fourth of July weekend.

NBC Washington said that there had been two other drownings in a mid-July report on water safety.

While the Swift Water Rescue team told NBC Washington that dehydration is the primary cause for concern when spending a day on the river, they reminded people that the shallow water is unfit to swim in.

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Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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