Parks and Wildlife reminds paddlers to wear personal floatation devices (PFDs) when using this watercraft.
Over the last several years at Colorado’ state parks, more and more people have been falling off their boards and some have drowned. In all those cases people were not wearing PFDs.
On rivers or reservoirs, if a paddleboarder falls off there is no guarantee that the board will remain within reach. In rivers, the board can be pulled away by the current. In lakes, a board can be pushed away quickly by the wind.
The danger is amplified on reservoirs and ponds in the afternoons in Colorado when winds pick-up or fast-moving storms stir up waves. Water temperature is also a factor. Even though the weather has been warm, the spring run-off is just starting and water in rivers and reservoirs is only about 50 degrees or lower. Cold water quickly impairs swimming ability and can cause hypothermia.
According to CPW regulations, on any watercraft the number of life jackets on board must match the number of passengers. Anyone 13 years or younger must wear a life jacket at all times. Every kind of craft is subject to the regulations, including powerboats, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, sailboats and sailboards.
For more information about safe boating, go to: http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/BoatingSafety.aspx.
Listen to CPW’s PODCAST on boating safety: