Authorities warn the public of being on flooded waters with kayaks

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live)- The flood waters might be going down, but the danger level is not.

Grand Forks authorities are stressing the importance of safety after saving a 19-year-old on the Red River.

He was rescued from a log after his kayak capsized last night.

But some people appear more than willing to take their chances on the water.

Cabela's in East Grand Forks is getting ready for a busy spring and summer season.

"Now that the snows melted it's finally starting to pick up. We're getting some nicer weather," says Derick Berhow, Group Sales Manager at Cabela's.

But due to the river flooding, people aren't able to use those kayaks, paddle boards or canoes quite yet. Because the river is closed for public use.

"With the river flooding and everything, obviously everyone's getting excited to have the kayaks and canoes out. But just make sure you stay off the river with the flooding and once it goes down we'll be ready to go," says Berhow.

"The newness of the water attracts people. They're going to want to go out and check on the water levels and see things first hand. Thinking they can handle it and do things that other people probably can't," says Sergeant Kelly McLean with the Grand Forks Sheriff's Department.

And that's because Sergeant McLean says the water current is a lot stronger and unpredictable then what it appears, and "water temperatures probably just above freezing, 35 degrees. So if you go into the water, you fall in, you can get hypothermia in a very short amount of time," says Sergeant McLean.

Even if you think you're an experienced kayaker, Sergeant McLean says having experience wouldn't do anything in these waters.

"You're going to get very exhausted in a very short amount of time. Which at that point, the water and current can overtake you," says Sergeant McLean.

Since the river is closed to the public at this time, it's a $100 fine if you are caught on it.

Authorities say it's rare for them to have to save someone who's out on the river.