The City of Kenai will be growing exponentially in the coming days as more and more dipnetters arrive into the community. The Kenai Fire Department spends time at the fishery each year tending to emergency calls. But, Kenai Fire Chief Mike Tilly says people can avoid becoming one of those emergency calls.
Chief Tilly: “In the past we’ve just people that have been unaware of the tidal influx at the mouth of the river, and also the amount of power that river can actually generate. Spending a lot of time out on the water, a person can get fatigued, get hypothermic, lose their footing very easily get swept away. So just use precautions, stay hydrated, stay healthy, stay warm. If you’re going to fish, fish in shifts, try not to spend too many hours out there at a time.”
He also says there are tips for boaters.
Chief Tilly: “Save, sane boat practices out on the river during dipnet season. Making sure your engines are tuned up, your boat is sea worthy, everyone is wearing life preservers, having all the mandatory Cost Guard approved things such as a throw able device, whistles, flares, fire extinguishers, everything you need in your boat. It will just help make it safer trip.”
Chief Tilly told us that those heading to the water also need to remember to bring the right body gear with them, and know how to wear it in order to be in the cold water.