HOW TO SURVIVE: Capsized boat or submerged car

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 23:36:06-04

Recent floods have brought up an important topic – how drivers should react if their vehicle ends up in rising water.

It's a topic Patrolman Jason Littlefield with the Grand River Dam Authority helps teach the public about as well as advice on how to respond if a boat capsizes.

Out on the water, boaters are required to have life jackets available; children must have them on at all times. Littlefield suggests adults have them on or easily accessible.

He also suggests staying with the boat even after it capsizes. He said it's much easier for rescue crews to spot people when they're near the vessel rather than trying to swim for help.

"Somebody swimming across the water, you're going to possibly blend in with the water. Especially if there are any waves," Littlefield said.

In dealing with floods, Littlefield said the first and most important thing  never try to drive through water covering a road.

"Water is very, very powerful. People underestimate water," he said.

Littlefield said if a driver does find him or herself in that situation, it's important to get out of the vehicle before it's submerged. He said to climb onto the vehicle and call for help.

"Stay on top of the hood. The worst thing you can do is get off the vehicle."

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