The Casper Fire-EMS Department recently has received an increasing number of calls for possible drownings and river rescues, and it wants the public's help, department spokesman Patrick McJunkin said Monday.

Observant callers often report unaccompanied watercraft such as boats, kayaks and inflatable devices.

Casper Fire-EMS and other emergency responders deploy immediately to maximize rescue efforts.

But in some cases, the incident is just a matter that an individual becomes separated from their watercraft and there is no need for a rescue.

Casper Fire-EMS wants the public's help so it can reduce the time and resources it and other first responders must commit to such calls.

If you are on the water and become separated from your watercraft, please call the dispatch center with a brief description of the watercraft and the approximate location when you can safely do so.

Likewise, give any identifying information with or the watercraft or on it including name and contact information. This will assist using resources for a possible rescue and also will help in the return of your property to you.

That information also may decrease the time and resources needed to locate a possible victim or drowning.

Use the Natrona County Sheriff's Office non-emergency number, (307) 235-9282, to contact the Casper Public Safety Communication Center.

However, this advice is not meant to discourage people from calling if they see an unaccompanied watercraft or any other signs of a possible water emergency.

If you do, call 911 immediately because Casper Fire-EMS and other first responders regard this as a potential life-threatening emergency and will dispatch appropriate resources.

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