NewsCovering Colorado


As summer approaches it is important to remember boat safety tips when on the water

Posted at 4:27 PM, May 23, 2024

COLORADO — As summer approaches the boats are sure to be uncovered and thrust into the water once again, there are however many guidelines and tips that can be practiced to ensure the safety of those boating and everything around them.

One of the first things that needs looking at is possible contamination. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) asks that boaters be prepared to undergo mandatory checks for any foreign contaminants that may find themselves stowed away on the underside of the boat. These contaminants can be dangerous to local animals, plant life, and the ecosystem they reside in. With lots of travelers heading to the water for Memorial Day Weekend, it is crucial to make sure that Colorado's own wildlife gets to flourish in an uninterrupted state.

“Historically, Memorial Day Weekend is very popular for boating and we are expecting a large number of boats to be entering or returning to Colorado,” said Robert Walters, CPW Invasive Species Program Manager. “We want to assure the public that CPW will do its best to get everyone checked efficiently, and we thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. Cooperation from boaters is vital for CPW’s work to protect Colorado’s waters.”

While it is extremely important to look after the beautiful state of Colorado, it is also important to look after oneself and others. There are several safety tips and tricks that can be followed to ensure the safest boating experience for all those involved.

Here are some tips from CPW about safe boating:

  • Wear your life jacket. Data shows in over 80% of drownings the person was not wearing a life jacket.
  • Sign up for a boating safety course. A course can be valuable to novice and experienced boaters. 
  • Carry all required safety gear for your vessel type.
  • Be aware of weather and water conditions. Conditions can change quickly so remain vigilant.
  • Boat sober- Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths. 
  • While not required, an anchor and paddle/oar can help in an emergency. 
  • Get a safety inspection of your vessel.
  • Review navigation techniques.

In 2024 there have already been four water-related deaths and the popular outdoor season has yet to begin. Last year CPW counted 32 water-related deaths, which was down from the state record 42, in 2022.


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