As temperatures start to warm up in the Centennial State, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wants to remind the public to wear life jackets any time they recreate on water this year.
According to CPW, 2022 was the deadliest year on Colorado waters on record with 42 deaths reported.
These deaths included boating accidents, swimming-related drownings, and non-drowning fatalities occurring on both moving and still water. A common thread in these fatal accidents is that the "vast majority" of the victims were not wearing life jackets.
Wearing a life vest is one of the most effective ways to avoid drowning and is recommended any time you enter a body of water. It's also recommended that a life vest is worn when near water, in case of an accidental plunge.
"Wearing a life jacket is especially important when boating during cold water conditions when water temperatures are below 70 degrees,” said Grant Brown, Boating Safety Program Manager for CPW, in a news release.
“Cold water immersion shock coupled with the lack of a life jacket were contributing factors in the majority of drownings in Colorado in recent seasons. We want people to have fun on the water and not be afraid of it, so we encourage you to bring the proper safety gear so you have a positive outdoor experience.”
More information about cold water shock can be found, here.
CPW also wants to remind Coloradans to check local weather forecasts before ever heading out on water, as unexpected weather can be dangerous.
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