EDEN, N.C. (WGHP) – A deadly accident on the Dan River left five people dead and four survivors one year ago. 

The group was tubing when they went over the Duke Energy dam in Rockingham County. Those who survived held on for hours until someone heard their screams for help and rescue crews arrived.

Some tubers out on the river a year later told FOX8 it changed the way they float down the river.

“We didn’t go on the river at all after that last year because it just spooked us,” said Louis Parrino. “You’ve got to stay to the left of the bridge and watch out for the debris”  

Parrino reminds her children of what to do as they get in the water.  

“They’re going to go and I’m going to pick them up at the landing,” she said. “If we go float in Madison or what not, we find out where the dams are and try to know where our ins and outs are.”

She learned about the dangers of the dams after the river rescue.  

“To be more cautious and pay more attention because before that happened, we didn’t even know there was a dam over there,” Parrino said. 

There are new kiosk signs at each access point for the Dan and Smith River in Eden. 

“We got smarter through that,” said Cindy Adams, the marketing and special events manager. “Unfortunately, it took that to make us smarter in some things.” 

Each kiosk shows a sign that boldly marks the dams and access points, the flow of the water, and what’s nearby. The warnings are in English and Spanish. 

“It tells you where your last access point is to get out of the river,” she said. “If you missed that, where the portage is near the dam, that you must exit, so we wanted that to be very prevalent on our kiosk.” 

A QR code gives visitors all the safety information, like river conditions, before getting in the water.  

“Don’t go out by yourself, go with people,” Adams said. “If this is your first time on the river, go with somebody experienced.”

Larger signs in different languages were installed before the dam to warn tubers and boaters. 

City crews plan to install ‘Penelope’ signs, which are large metal statues encouraging children to wear a life jacket near the kiosks. 

It’s a message Adams wants people to see before they float downstream.  

“This isn’t man-made, it’s wild, it changes,” she said. “It’s very different from what you see riding over a bridge, so you have to be prepared.”