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Tubing: Why it is Dangerous and How to Stay Safe

An unidentified woman in Wexford County recently drowned during a river tubing accident. On July 16, 2019, Michigan law enforcement recovered the woman’s body from the river and pronounced her dead at the scene.

Law enforcement later discovered that the woman was on a tube that got stuck against a downed tree in the river. The woman also was entangled in a rope connecting two tubes together, which led to her being dragged under the water as a result.

Why Water Tubes are Dangerous

Tubes are flotation devices that are specifically designed for “tubing.” While these tubes are sold as toys, they are actually quite dangerous. Each year, tubing results in a number of life-changing injuries. One of the reasons why tubes are so dangerous is that they do not provide riders with much control over their movement.

The National Institutes of Health have revealed that the most common type of injury due to tubing accidents are strains and sprains, which represent approximately 27% of documented injuries. Soft tissue injuries are also a common result from tubing accidents.

How to Remain Safe While Tubing

Water tubing is a fun and exciting activity, but it can lead to accidents and injuries if a person fails to take adequate safety precautions. Some of the important steps that can greatly decrease the chances that a rider ends up seriously injured in a tubing accident include:

  • Wear a life jacket. Even if you are a good swimmer, it is still a wise idea to wear a life jacket whenever you go tubing. The currents on which tubes travel can be swift and can overwhelm a person who is suddenly knocked into the water.
  • Inspect your equipment. No matter if you rent a tube or are using your own, it is important to adequately inspect all of the equipment that you plan on using before tubing. If you head out on the water with defective equipment, your chances of ending up in a serious accident are much higher.
  • Create an emergency plan. Before tubing, it is helpful to create a plan about how to respond in case an emergency occurs. Make sure that everyone with you knows the plan.
  • Tow with caution. If you plan to pull a tube with a boat, it is important to remain cautious while doing so. Avoid the combination of alcohol or drugs while tubing. It is also helpful to retain the assistance of someone who will keep an eye on whether the tube rider falls off.

Drowning accidents occur suddenly and leave families forever changed. If another party was responsible for the drowning, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Jay Trucks & Associates, PC today to schedule a free initial consultation.