— Enjoying the beauty, coolness and recreational fun of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River are summer traditions.
The heavy rains during June have kept the Delaware River unusually high. These high river levels increase the dangers to boaters and river users.
The National Park Service issues a mandatory wearing of life jackets that goes into effect when the river is above six feet at the Barryville gauge. To obtain current river conditions including the river height go to the park’s webpage at www.nps.gov/upde or call the River Hotline at 845-252-7100. The River Hotline is updated each morning throughout the summer season.
Park Rangers strongly encourage all river users to wear a life jacket. The river claims an average of two drowning victims per year, yet there has never been a drowning of someone who is wearing a properly fitted life jacket.
The heat and summer sun are natural invitations to go into the river. As we enter into the busiest part of our boating season the National Park Service reminds visitors of basic water safety tips to keep everyone safe while enjoying the river.
Respect the river by doing the following:
• Always wear a properly fitted life jacket
• Never swim alone
• Never attempt to swim across the river
• Beware of currents, drop offs, and submerged obstacles
More than 50 percent of the drowning victims are swimmers (not boaters). Public accesses, campgrounds and many other areas display warning signs. These signs often go unnoticed as visitors pursue the pleasure of cooling off in the river.
But the scenic Delaware River’s placid appearance is deceiving, there are powerful currents that can wear down and sweep away experienced and strong swimmers. Never fight the flow — go with the current making your way to one shore or the other.
Thousands of people enjoy the Upper Delaware River each year. For your own safety please respect the power and flow of the river currents.