Buck Creek’s whitewater areas termed dangerous for swimmers

Fast currents, kayakers among perils in ‘no swimming’ zones.

Swimming in “dangerous” whitewater areas has become an increased problem for police and the National Trail Parks and Recreation District, CEO LeAnn Castillo said.

“Any time people swim, they shouldn’t swim in a creek or an unsupervised area,” she said.

The whitewater areas near Carleton Davidson Stadium, the Springfield Museum of Art and Snyder Park present unique dangers for swimmers.

“Those are very dangerous places because of the way the water is moving through there and the currents that are created,” Castillo said.

Springfield police officers have chased swimmers out of the white-water areas in Snyder Park “numerous” times, said Lt. Jeff Meyer.

The fast currents pose a risk as well as the danger of kayaks — which the whitewaters for designed for — coming through, he said.

“We’ve actually had kids who get out in the middle of what they consider the swimming area and kayakers will come on down through there and they can’t see them,” he said.

Caution should also be exercised in designated swimming areas, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the C.J. Brown Dam and Reservoir.

Park Manager Christopher T. Rapenchuk urged swimmers to swim only in designated areas, wear life jackets and keep a close eye on children while swimming in open waters. Boaters should be cautious of carbon monoxide and install detectors to protect themselves and passengers.

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