"Strong currents, debris such as tree branches and slippery rocks have caused injuries and deaths. It is safer to enjoy the river from somewhere outside the water, rather than in it."Yeah, nothing sucks more than enjoying cool clear water by getting in it. What a moron.
If you can't swim, than wear a life jacket and swim with sober friends; you won't have any problems. It is a deadly river, sure, and you wouldn't know by looking at it. The reason people drown in it all the time is because they're usually drunk, or can't swim (well), don't use the buddy system - it's really just a lack of what is generally refered to as common sense.
I hear that skydiving and lion taming are very safe, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to give it a shot on my own; common sense says that I would find some competent buddies to help me out, and I wouldn't be shitfaced on my first try. Lions look all nice and cuddly and all, but I know that looks can be deceiving. That's why I would be careful.
Every year though, several people drown in the Rappahannock, and usually two drown on the 4th of July. Sometimes a child drowns, and it breaks my heart. The parents are always to blame; youngins should be wearing their life jacket, and both parents should be sober.
The numbers are sobering: 85 people have drowned in the river since 1985. The last ones were in June 2008. The victims were a 51-year-old Stafford man and a teenager from Maryland.Sobering is the key word that people don't get.
So enjoy the water. Get in it if you can; it's a very historic part of this nation, and it's a cool place to be. Sure, if you want to tie one on then stay on the shores, but if you're of a sound mind, don't let this "official" rain on your parade.