Kayakers and canoers warned about high river levels

LANSING, MI. (WILX) - A warm Memorial Day weekend has many wanting to get out on the water, but higher water levels than normal are causing concern for kayakers and canoers.

Kayaks at River Town Adventures in Lansing

It was a close call last weekend for a Grand Ledge woman and her boyfriend out kayaking on the Grand River.

She did not want to identified, but tells News 10 high river levels and not wearing a life jacket lead to an emergency rescue she barely escaped.

"I'm never canoeing again," she said. "You never think something bad is going to happen to you. If I were to go again, I would make sure to physically wear a life jacket instead of sitting on one and definitely not go in the fast moving waters. The paramedics gave us the "dad speech" and I will never not wear a life jacket again."

Paul Brogan, Owner of River Town Adventures Canoe and Kayak Rentals says it only takes a split second for kayakers and canoers to end up in a dangerous situation.

"This spring already we've had at least three different incidents of fire and rescue crews having to come out and rescue people off the river," said Brogan.

He says the conditions are improving but still not completely safe.

"The water is just barely starting to recede a little but the danger is there. The water levels are very high, the current is extremely swift and the water is still cold, so this is a dangerous time to paddle on the rivers especially in the Lansing area and really throughout most of lower Michigan," said Brogan.

He says on top of wearing a life vest, people should always paddle with someone else, and make a trip plan that you share with family or friends.

"Go out on a small lake, there are plenty of them in the metro area to still go out on the water and catch that sunshine," said Brogan.

Brogan expects water levels to lower by next week.

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