GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – It is a rough one on the water. Whether you’re in a boat or trying out the increasingly popular sport of kayaking, you might be in for a choppy ride.

“You go over in this, it might be a matter of life and death if you don’t have your life jacket on,” warns Green Bay Police Officer Scott Schuetze.

Not surprisingly, all the rain we’ve had recently, combined with winds, have made the Fox River and Bay of Green Bay–at least in the Brown County area–pretty rocky.

It’s one thing in a boat, but something completely different if you’re in a kayak — an activity that’s drawing a lot more people to the water around Northeast Wisconsin.

Those who spend a lot of time on the water are issuing a warning if you’re heading out soon.

Green Bay Police take us for a quick ride in their patrol boat, and it doesn’t take long to feel and see how high and rough the water is.

“The current is moving along quite rapidly,” says Schuetze. “People who come out here have to use some caution.”

Schuetze spends a lot of time on the water and says not only are river levels rising by the day from recent rains, the waves are some of the biggest he’s seen in awhile.

He says a capsized boat or kayak could quickly become a dangerous rescue attempt.

“The current, it could push you, from where you fall over, could push you quite a ways away from where we start looking, and it’s difficult and with waves like this and wind like this, it’s difficult to see,” Schuetze says. “Often, there’s just a head above water. It’s like just trying to find something the size of a basketball in the middle of Lambeau Field. It wouldn’t be that easy.”

That can be worrisome as officers have noticed more people on the waters this summer in not just boats, but kayaks.

“Always with kayaking, it’s safety,” says Pete’s Garage store manager Derek Hughes.

Despite it feeling like summer is nearly over, Pete’s Garage on Broadway in downtown Green Bay continues seeing the same trend as the rest of the nation — growing interest in kayaking.

“Kayak sales have definitely been increasing as we’ve been here now for two years,” says Hughes.

With each sale or rental, Hughes says his staff stresses safety, with pros and novices alike, especially with rough waters.

“At this time of the year, with the cooler weather and that water being a little cooler and having spray skirts and stuff like that on that rough water, or just staying in on the East River and places like that, if you’re not very experienced, it’s not the best idea to be out there on that kind of condition,” says Hughes.

He says preparation is key.

“Always with kayaking, it’s safety. See what it feels like when you get on edge. Get wet. Try to climb back in it, get that down first before you go out and really venture out,” suggests Hughes.


- Advertisement -
Previous articleExcerpts from readers’ letters: New cycling speed limit unrealistic, Letters in Print News & Top Stories
Next articleHow One F1 Team Lost $315 Million In A Decade