Paddleboarding

Ridgway State Park, 7/13/2014, Delta, Colorado.(Photo by Ken Papaleo)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding and urging paddle boarders to wear personal flotation devices whenever on the water. 

In recent years, the water sport has become more popular. More people have fallen off their boards, which has resulted in several deaths, according to a release from CPW.

"So many people see paddle boards as low risk; but if you fall off your board into cold water you can get into trouble very quickly," said Kirstin Copeland, manager at Ridgway State Park in a release.  

CPW officials are reminding paddle boarders that the boards can easily get out of range quickly after a fall whether it's due to a strong current or wind speed. 

In addition to encouraging people to wear lifejackets or vests, CPW officials are reminding people to have a PFD for everyone and to make sure the devices fit properly. 

Since 2019, four adults who were not wearing lifejacket or vests were rescued by park rangers at Ridgway reservoir after falling. Additionally, two "youngsters" who were wearing adult lifejackets also needed rescuing.

"Ill-fitting PFDs did not support them in the water properly," officials said in the release. "Children must be fitted with properly sized PFDs."

Although CPW officials want paddle boarders and water sport enthusiasts to have fun, they also want them to be safe at all times to avoid any avoidable tragedies.

"Anything can happen at any time on the water," Copeland said. "So we urge people to be cautious and consider their own safety and their loved one's safety while enjoying the water.

"Please, wear your PFD."