After kayaker barely escapes fallen tree, officials remind people to steer clear of danger on rivers

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KENT, Ohio (WJW) — As the world thaws and people take to the waters of Northeast Ohio again, one area fire department is reminding people to be on the lookout for certain dangers.

Strainers are things that block rivers, allowing water to pass through, but trapping other objects floating through, such as kayaks, the Kent Fire Department reminded people in a Facebook message.

“A strainer poses a significant drowning risk, trapping a person underwater with the incredible force of moving water,” the department said in the message.

After recently discovering a kayak trapped three feet under a fallen tree (a strainer) that the department was removing not far from Tannery Park, the department was able to return the bent-up watercraft to its owner.

The owner said he was not able to get around the tree and the water sucked him in, however, he was able to escape going under the tree.

Officials said that if you come upon a strainer while on a river to try and avoid it at all costs.

“As always, scout your route, go with a friend, tell others your plans in case you don’t return in time, only paddle in conditions you are prepared for and ALWAYS wear a life jacket,” the department said.

Read the whole statement below:

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