Park Rangers Offer Safety Tips for the Summer

DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – Thousands of people are expected to visit the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area this summer, and park rangers are stressing the importance of safety. This comes after two people died while using the park in the last week.

C.J. Savage from Mount Pocono took to the Delaware River for a canoe ride with her dad. But before they took off, they both put on life vests.

"If you don't and you capsize, you might swim for a little while, but you eventually get tired, and you might drown," said Savage.

Last week, two people from New Jersey were in a canoe that capsized on the river. One woman was saved, but the other passenger never surfaced and crews are still out looking for him. Neither one was wearing a life jacket.

"Wear a life jacket at all times. They are called life jackets because they can save your life. We have never had someone drown in the park who was wearing a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket," said Kathleen Sandt, NPS Public Affairs.

Not only is it important for you to be safe out on the water, but park rangers are also stressing the importance of safety on the trails.

On Saturday, officials say a man from Philadelphia died of natural causes while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Some hikers we spoke to say it's important to keep hydrated and know your limits, especially when it's hot.

"Anything can happen. It's important to carry water, food, and shelter even if it's nothing more than a silver blanket that you can wrap around yourself," said James Poppe, Virginia.

"Safety is really important to having an enjoyable visit to the park. We want everyone to be able to come and enjoy the park. We also want them to go home at the end of the day and be able to come back. We also want to make sure our employees who have to do rescues are safe by not having to go into those dangerous areas," said Sandt.

Park rangers say there is a number you can call in case of an emergency that will get you right to someone at park headquarters. That number is 1-800-543-4295.