Officials encourage water safety ahead of Memorial Day

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CORRALES, N.M. – On Sunday afternoon, tons of people were out enjoying the rapids near Siphon Beach in Corrales. 

But, Corrales Deputy Chief of EMS and Emergency Managment Tanya Lattin says they’ve had to rescue 20 people from the water so far this season in Corrales.

“Definitely a high rescue season for us. The last time that it was like this, and we had this many, probably 2017, I think, so when we had really high water flows. We did have some in 2020, but not a lot,” said Lattin. 

She says a lot of those people were not wearing life vests. 

“If you’re on the river no matter what, doesn’t matter your age, life vests when you’re on the river. It’s the law,” Lattin said. 

She says with water levels so high right now, and the fast moving water, people need a sturdy kayak or paddle board. 

“People who were inexperienced were getting in, people are also getting in on flotation tubes, like you could go buy at Walmart, and there’s a lot of debris in the river, they were getting popped,” said Lattin. 

Lattin says you need to plan your day on the water with safety in mind. 

“Know where you’re at. We have river mile marker signs all the way through Sandoval County, all the way through Albuquerque on the side of the river. Look for those river mile markers signs, so you know where you’re at,” she said. 

The Corrales Fire Department sometimes partners with neighboring agencies like Albuquerque police for water rescues. 

Lattin says with Memorial Day approaching they don’t want safety to float off your mind. 

“We want people to have fun, but want to have fun in a safe manner, and we want to bring all of our first responders home,” said Lattin.