Task Force Weighs River Enforcement

Columbus Mayor Looking For Ideas To Curb River Drownings

There has been plenty of talk about how exactly to address this public safety issue where people continue to ignore the dangers of the Chattahoochee River.

Less than one hour after a six year old boy’s body was pulled from the river, families including small children were wading feet from the rapids where he fell in the river.

Despite  drownings involving children in recent years, the community continues to gather on the river banks oblivious to the danger steps away.

“I think that sometimes it’s hard to get the message out to people . One of the biggest challenges we’ve got is how to educate people. We can’t make the river safer but what we can do is try to encourage people to make sure that when they go to the river that safety is the number one priority,” Mayor Skip Henderson said.

So the Mayor convened a task force this past week for input from those who work on the river.

Mayor Henderson said he doesn’t want to over legislate but not acting is not an option so they focused on ways to make an immediate impact.

“One of the things we talked about is education. Using our media partners and using our social media and using the city’s website and CCG TV to try to make sure that we get the word out that even though the water looks tranquil on the surface underneath there is probably 50 different currents that are racing in different directions,” the Mayor said.

Updating current ordinances is also on the table. Mayor Henderson said the city is considering requiring children of a certain age who want to visit certain areas along the river must have a life jacket.

In the mean time there were other ideas.

“Like life rings that we put in cases at different places around the river on both sides that way at least you could try to throw something out there and give a shot at trying to help somebody who has been swept away,” Henderson said.

Two things the mayor said he didn’t want the city to do: make any rash decisions or rush to a particular idea based solely on emotion or over reaction.


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