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Jumping into canals not as safe as it seems

Jumping in canals can be a popular activity for kids in Idaho Falls. But as we approach record breaking temperatures, the hot and dry conditions only makes it more tempting.

It can seem as if the waterways are calling our names to help cool off. But it’s more dangerous than one may think

“I know these waterways are attractive, especially when the temperatures get up into the 90s–it seems just like an innocent, easy thing to do, getting into a canal. But it’s so easy to get into trouble.” said Chief David Coffey of the Idaho Falls Fire Department.

Whether its trying to stay cool or trying to be cool, kids in Idaho Falls see jumping into canals as a thrilling experience.

“It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” said Coffey.

The water in the canals of Idaho Falls look calm today, but the current can change everyday. It’s also easy for clothes to get caught on debris in the canals. And maybe most dangerous of all–the spillways.

“Once they go over these spillways and they get hung up in the hydraulics and they can’t get out. And it can be just a foot of water–but the force of the water is too much for them to over come.” said Coffey.

The hydraulics also make it dangerous for firefighters to jump in during rescue efforts.

“We know where they went in but we don’t know where we’re going to find them.’ said Coffey.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department says they deal with five drownings a year along the Snake River.

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