Tragedy struck recently on the Colorado River downstream from Glenwood Springs. Reports indicate that a middle school child died as he became separated from his tube above South Canyon Rapid. The child was not wearing a life vest or what we call a PFD (Personal Floatation Device). Let's send our thoughts and prayers to the family.
The boy's mother reportedly said that the child was not wearing a PFD but knew how to swim.
Read more about this here.
An adult also recently died on the Colorado after he went ahead and paddled in his SUP after realizing that he had forgotten his PFD at home. Bad move all around.
Let's learn from this event and other like it. ALWAYS wear your PFD and ALWAYS see to it that the children in your party are wearing one whenever they are close to the water. Speak out when you see others who are about to enter the water without a PFD. Incidents like this and this one here are preventable. Get good and comfortable PFD for everyone, and have an extra in the event that someone forgot theirs. Go here to the NRS website to look over all of the options for PFD's. They should fit snug and be comfortable (so that you and your kiddos will wear it!).
As a rule our children, and any children in our party, wear their PFD whenever they are around the water. When our kids are playing in the sand beside the river...they are wearing a PFD! The river moves quick and all it takes is one misstep to send someone swimming.
We see tubers often on the river and they rarely have PFD's on. Let's all do our best to educate other about the unnecessary risks involved when a person is in the water without a PFD.
Let's have fun AND be smart out there!
Bill Strong of Denver