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CPW reports 36 recreation-related fatalities in 2022

2020 previously saw the most water fatalities with 34, according to data from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

COLORADO, USA — This year is the deadliest ever on Colorado waters, according to data from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

According to CPW, the state has seen 36 recreation-related water fatalities so far in 2022. Two men drowned at Dillon Reservoir on Sept. 9, and another person drowned two days later in the Corn Lake section of James M. Robb – Colorado River State Park.

Previously, the most drownings recorded in Colorado waters happened in 2020, when the state had 34 drownings.

“Some common themes we saw in some of the drownings this year was the use of alcohol and people swimming from shore, on inner tubes or paddling,” said Grant Brown, CPW program manager for boating safety and registrations.

Many mountain reservoirs have closed for the season; however, other boating opportunities are still available year-round in warmer areas.

“As we move into fall, please stay vigilant when recreating on the water,” Brown said. “Protect yourself from the dangers of cold water immersion and shock by wearing a life jacket and being aware of weather conditions, and water temperatures where you plan to recreate. Boat sober, enjoy the water, but always do so with a life jacket on –  they save lives."

RELATED: 2 men drown in Summit County

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CPW offers the following boating safety tips:

  • Wear your life jacket when on or near the water.
  • Check the condition of your boat and all required boating safety gear.
  • Avoid boating alone and tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.
  • Stand-up paddleboards are considered vessels in Colorado and require a life jacket on board at all times.
  • Be knowledgeable of ice conditions before ice fishing.
  • Waterfowl hunters should be especially careful when hunting from a boat and wearing waders.

CPW urges anyone participating in water-related recreation to take water safety seriously.



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