Hank Silverberg, wtop.com
GREAT FALLS, Va. - The hot weather across the Washington region is making the region's rivers very inviting this Memorial Day weekend, but it's also renewing warnings about the danger of area rivers swollen by recent rains.
"If you don't know what you are doing, the river will take your life, you will die," says National Park Service spokesman Bill Line.
He is reminding everyone that swimming is not allowed on the Potomac at Great Falls National Park or anywhere else.
Swimming isn't the only danger. Line says too many people go down to the river wearing the wrong type of clothing.
"People coming from a Georgetown cocktail party, or a party somewhere else - they're dressed in slinky clothing, many wearing high heels," says Line. "Wrong footwear for coming out on these types of trails."
An average of four people have drown in the Potomac between 2001 and 2010. There were no drowning deaths on the Potomac last year and they want to keep it that way this year.
Swimming is allowed on the Rappahannock River, where more than 80 people have died on the river since 1972. Many of them were swimming in areas that are not designated for it.
The Rappahannock is running a foot above normal this summer because of the spring rain making conditions more treacherous than usual.
A particular trouble spot is Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg where many people have lost their footing while trying to walk across the rocks to the Historic Port of Falmouth Park beach.
Stafford County and Fredericksburg leaders are reminding those who visit sites along the river to swim only in designated swimming areas.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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