SALIDA, Colo. – A new regulation requires that children under 13 years old wear a Type I, III, or V, U.S. Coastguard approved lifejacket while swimming in the Arkansas River within the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). The Colorado State Parks Board approved the safety regulation in April to protect the increasing number of youngsters swimming at the whitewater parks and other areas along the Arkansas River.
The regulation is similar to an existing regulation requiring all people using inner tubes, air mattresses, or similar devices within the AHRA to wear a Type I, III, or V, U.S. Coastguard approved lifejacket and mirrors an existing regulation that requires children to wear lifejackets when on board vessels on the waters of Colorado.
The regulation, enforced by Colorado State Parks rangers and other law enforcement personnel along the AHRA, applies to swimmers in the river that have no contact with the ground, including the river bottom.
“With the increasing popularity of the whitewater parks, as well as the risks associated with swift water, it is important to be proactive and this regulation will hopefully prevent a tragedy from occurring,” said AHRA River Ranger Supervisor Andrew Maddox
Colorado State Parks get everyone outdoors! Attracting more than 12 million visitors per year, Colorado’s 42 State Parks are a vital cornerstone of Colorado’s economy and quality of life. Colorado State Parks encompass 224,447 land and water acres, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado State Parks is a leader in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, protecting the state’s favorite landscapes, teaching generations about nature and partnering with communities. Colorado State Parks also manage more than 4,300 campsites, and 63 cabins and yurts. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit www.parks.state.co.us.
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