Water safety in the wake of tragedy - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Water safety in the wake of tragedy

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CUNARD, W.Va. (WVVA) The National Park Service is urging river-goers to take extra precautions following a drowning on Thursday morning. 

Christina Dawn Schneider of Fayetteville , 46, died on the New River near Cunard after her Jon Boat overturned. Emergency personnel said no one on the boat was wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident. 

The New River is currently experiencing low water levels, said National Park Spokesperson Julena Campbell, a situation that can bring added dangers from rocks and currents beneath the surface. S

Campbell urges visitors to make sure their equipment, boat, oar, and flotation devices are in proper working order before heading out on the water. That includes making sure life jackets are snug around the chest with a couple fingers worth of wiggle room above the shoulder. 

"You know the river is very powerful. It's an old river and it changes quite frequently in terms of hazards people can encounter. It's always something to remember; you can't control the river, but you can control how prepared you are to be on the river and that includes wearing a life jacket." 

Campbell said a life jacket that is too big can lead to your head being trapped beneath the water or worse, death. 

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