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Old 06-29-2010, 07:19 AM
 
Location: On our boat!
5,676 posts, read 10,188,032 times
Reputation: 3181
Default St. John's River Question.......

Ok, we all know that health reports are telling us not to fish/eat fish from the St. John's River until........who knows when. Now, what about simple boating on the river? Taking a cruise in either direction or tieing up at the Landing or other docking areas? We have never seen anyone actually swimming in the river, but have seen tubing done. Should boaters reconsider about tubing on the water as well as fishing? Using WaverRunners would be another question. A person can definitely get wet riding a WaveRunner (or what some folks still call "Jet Ski"). We have not heard any reports from the media about ER's/hospitals seeing people with irritations or whatever from touching the water.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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If the St. Johns river was unsafe to touch, it would be national...perhaps international news.....so yes, it's fine to touch. Just don't ingest it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: On our boat!
5,676 posts, read 10,188,032 times
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But one media report from our local newspaper DOES say, and this comes directly from the article:

If you come in contact with water where there is an algal bloom and fish are dead or dying:


Remove wet clothing and keep separate from other items until they have been washed.


Wash any body parts (except eyes) that come in contact with these waters.


Use waterproof gloves when handling pets that have come in contact with the algae and the water.


See your doctor if you experience symptoms that might be caused by exposure to these waters including burning eyes, respiratory irritation or skin rash.


Report any illness to the Aquatic Toxins Hotline at (800) 232-8635

So, comments about this?



Quote:
Originally Posted by fsu813 View Post
If the St. Johns river was unsafe to touch, it would be national...perhaps international news.....so yes, it's fine to touch. Just don't ingest it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,528 posts, read 4,273,394 times
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"where there is an algal bloom and fish are dead or dying"

is the key phrase there.

so don't swim with dead fish or in the middle of an algal bloom, basically.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:27 PM
 
310 posts, read 516,086 times
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Anytime there is red tide or dead fish showing up in the water, I would not think that it is safe to touch. We haven't allowed our kids to get wet from the St. Johns in YEARS. I think the last time we went out on our friend's boat (they have a home on the river next to the Shands bridge) the kids went tubing, and they all came down with a horrible rash and ear infections. It was absolutely horrifying and I won't take that chance again. So take your boat out wherever you like, you can dock wherever there's a public spot but I wouldn't swim nor fish in it for anything.

It's a real shame as it is such a beautiful river.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:17 PM
 
253 posts, read 405,322 times
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In August, 2005, a woman died from flesh eating bacteria (maybe more properly called type A strep bacteria?) contracted in the river. Later there were reports of MRSA ulcers found on fish in the river. I tried several times to search for followup reports but didn't have any success.
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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For whatever it's worth, I spent my childhood and teen years swimming and boating on the St Johns. In all that time I personally knew one person who had a health issue arising from the river. A woman wading (during an algae bloom, of course) cut her foot on some rocks and developed an infection.

Dappleganger - obviously I don't know the situation beyond your description, but if ALL the kids got a rash, I wouldn't be surprised if it was due to the tubing equipment, not the river. If those things aren't properly cleaned between uses they can be a serious hazard and are a haven for mold and bacteria.

I think monitoring the health of the St Johns is an extremely important endeavor, especially with the increase of algal blooms in recent years. But again, from the standpoint of recreational safety, all I can say is that I have spent countless hours with hundreds of different people in and around the river. It has not been a problem.
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, Fl.
123 posts, read 168,524 times
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Folks, many of the water quality issues of the Saint Johns could be improved by public awareness. May I suggest taking a few minutes, Google the Riverkeeper and check out their website? Be sure to click on the link "Georgia Pacific."

What a resource we have in our backyard! The river could use a little help right now, become aware of the problems and be part of the solution.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:44 AM
 
Location: On our boat!
5,676 posts, read 10,188,032 times
Reputation: 3181
So, we figure, from the replies, that launching a boat and cruising on the St. John's is still ok. The only time we even come in contact with the water is when my wife has to step into it to help me launch the boat. And, we have never seen any algae bloom at Goodby's Ramp.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
2,541 posts, read 2,636,792 times
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I wouldn't even know what an algae bloom is.
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