It has been the deadliest year ever on Colorado waters.

Record Year For Colorado Fatalities

Three drownings over the weekend set a new record for water fatalities in Colorado bringing to 36 the number of people who have died on Colorado waters in 2022. The previous record was in 2020 when 34 people lost their lives. In 2021, the total number of fatalities was 22.

Three Weekend Drownings In Colorado

Corn Lake in Clifton is a popular recreational spot - especially during the summer. In the early hours of September 11, officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife recovered the body of a suspected drowning victim in the Corn Lake section of James. M. Robb Colorado River State Park. There was a double drowning on September 9 at Dillon Reservoir near Silverthorn.

In the Corn Lake incident, authorities received a report Saturday evening that a man - not wearing a life jacket - had fallen off his paddleboard. Responders from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Mesa County Sheriff's Office found a paddleboard floating in the lake and eventually recovered the body in about 7 1/2 feet of water.

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Water Safety Tips From Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Grant Brown, who is the CPW Boating Safety and Registrations Program Manager said "some common themes we saw in some of the drownings this year was the use of alcohol and people swimming from shore, on innertubes, or paddling." Playing on the water is great fun, but there is a certain element of danger.

CPW offers these water safety tips:

  • Wear a lifejacket on the water. Stand-up paddleboards are considered vessels in Colorado and require a life jacket on board at all times.
  • Check the condition of your boat as well as all fo the required boating safety gear.
  • Avoid boating alone.
  • Boat Sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.
  • Be knowledgeable of ice conditions before water fishing.
  • Waterfowl hunters should be careful when hunting from a boat and wearing waders.

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