PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As a long-awaited summer returns, so have boaters, paddle boarders and other people escaping the heat to the waters around Oregon.

“That transition is a little bit of a wake-up for us in the water safety arena,” Portland Fire & Rescue’s Lt. Rich Tyler said.

On any sunny day, boaters, swimmers, paddleboarders and kayakers can all be seen recreating on the same stretch of the Willamette River. It’s up to all users to be aware of others around them, according to the Oregon Marine Board.

Tyler says life jackets and awareness are two key things to have when spending a day on the water.

“All of those different recreators need to remember there are other people recreating in a different way and just remember to keep your space and be safe,” Tyler said.

Water levels are another important thing to keep in mind, particularly near the banks of the river.

The Willamette River was in a minor flood stage in the middle of June, but that’s significantly dissipated. The National Weather Service reports the Willamette was flowing upwards of 9.5 feet to start July and recently was reported at below 8 feet. The NWS forecasts the river to dip below 6 feet by the end of the month.

“Those depths may be shallower, there may be trees or debris that is closest to the surface where it wasn’t last week so really check the conditions of where you’re getting in the river, no matter what river it is,” Tyler said.

A full list of the Oregon Marine Board’s guidelines and regulations can be found on its website.