Tubers and strainers are becoming a concern on the rivers in Iowa. Tubing is becoming a popular recreational activity. Quite often the first -time tuber or new river user is not knowledgeable about the risks they take upon themselves when they innocently choose to enjoy a day on the river with friends, floating with a cooler and catching some rays.
Education is the key to those demographic users. How do we educate those users on the dangers of rivers and teach them about river reading, eddy rests, life jacket safety, water hydraulics, CFS (cubic feet per second) or the dangers of strainers that lurk around many outside bends of a river? If you add alcoholic beverages into the mix, tuber safety is compromised even before a potential strainer happens.
The nature of a river is for the current to be in charge of the direction that it wants to go and will take you along for the ride. Just adding two safety features to a tuber’s recreational day will ensure some measure of safety. By wearing a snug fitting life jacket and using a short paddle or one end of a kayak paddle, both can assist the tuber in having more control of the direction they float and can offer some drowning protection.
This should enable them to avoid strainers and if they should be removed from their tube or spring a leak, they will have a bit more control and safety. Education about staying on the inside of a bend can be helpful too. Can we also educate about not littering those empty cans?