On the evening of June 15, 2019, authorities responded to a call that a female fell into the south fork of the Rio Grande river. After ten days of searching, the body of Colorado Springs’ Roberta Sophia Rodriguez was found. Sadly, this is not the first rafting fatality this season. In fact, to date, there have been six fatalities in Colorado rivers. Here’s why rafting in Colorado is deadly this year.
The rivers in Colorado are full and creeks and streams are overflowing in many parts of the state. Reservoirs and lakes are at or near capacity, and this has contributed to an increase in fatal accidents. Earlier in the month, a Texas man on a Boy Scouts trip drowned in the Arkansas River and another man lost his life when his raft flipped on the Eagle River. Even just last week, six tubers on the Delores River had to be rescued.
The waters in Colorado are moving fast and rafters and tubers may suddenly find themselves in serious trouble. The CPW recommends that all beginner rafters sign up with a professional service before heading out on their own. However, even professional rafters and services are finding it difficult to navigate the raging waters. On June 20th, the Pasoga Fire Protection District was notified of a fatal rafting accident on the San Juan River. A woman on a commercial rafting excursion was ejected into the water when her raft flipped. Rescuers located her 15 minutes later, but it was too late.
To remain safe while on the water in Colorado, safety experts and Colorado authorities recommend the following tips:
- Always wear proper lifejacket and headgear
- Assure that your vehicle or craft was intended for whitewater travel. Many kayaks are not
- Know the water conditions BEFORE you go
- Beware of strainers, such as fallen trees or rocks. They can be deadly
- Carry emergency identification on you at all times
- Tell others of your plans before you go
- Don’t go alone
- Take an on-water course or travel with a professional group
- Avoid water conditions beyond your skill level
- Check weather forcast before you go
- Dress appropriately and carry extra clothes in a dry bag in case you get wet
- Never go tubing under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Plan for emergencies – bring a first aid kit or learn first aid
Contact Our Colorado Boating Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a rafting, tubing, or boating accident, it is important to review all of your legal options. If a boating company or rafting group’s negligence led to your injuries, you may have cause to file a claim. Contact Gregory A. Gold of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653. We can help you during this difficult time.