MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - The Tennessee River is a hot spot during the summer time and a popular hangout for the younger crowd. In wake of a recent apparent drowning in Morgan County, the Morgan County Rescue Squad is making sure you know how to stay safe on the water.
"We have two different locations, Bluff City Road, there is obviously a bluff there that people recreational swim and rope swing and play off of," said Chief Danny Keslo.
But looks can be deceiving when it comes to what is below the surface. "Because where the bluff is, there is a current that goes around the bend, so underwater there is a current pushing against the bluff," explained Keslo.
When swimming in the water, Chief Keslo says it's always better to be safe rather than sorry.
"Whether you think you're a good swimmer, or you think that you're not, it's always best to wear a life jacket because you never know whats on top of the water, you could easily have a medical condition, when you're in the heat you dehydrate, you could get some kind of cramp," he said.
Chief Keslo is part of the diving team with the Morgan County Rescue Squad and he sees firsthand what's below the surface. "Myself being the scuba diver, going down, we've detected big rocks and boulders so these people jumping off the bluffs are also, ya know, potentially could hit these rocks and [not be able] to swim if they break a limb," said Keslo.
While there's no indication this week's incident was related to alcohol, Chief Keslo says whether you're driving a boat or swimming in the water...
"I would recommend no alcohol on the public waterways and always, whether you're a good swimmer or not a good swimmer, a life jacket. Always wear a life jacket."
Chief Keslo said the incident off Bluff City Road is Morgan County's first water death this boating season.