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RBC I With the increasing popularity of stand-up paddleboards on local rivers and state park reservoirs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife remind users that they are considered hand-powered vessels and are subject to the same boating rules and regulations.
Anyone operating canoes and kayaks, a surfboard, inner tube, paddleboard or any similar watercraft is required to wear a personal flotation device per the agency’s boating regulations.
CPW says that there were nine boating deaths in Colorado in 2012, including a stand-up paddleboarder.
“All nine victims died from drowning, and none of them was wearing a life jacket,” said Kris Wahlers, boating safety coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “No one plans on having an accident when they’re enjoying a day on the water, but they still happen every day.”
Wahlers say that anyone enjoying the water should be prepared, and wearing a lifejacket that fits properly is critical.
Among the various criteria Wahlers advises everyone to remember:
A U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device must be available for each individual onboard.
All children under 13 years of age are required to wear a properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device at all times while on the paddleboard or other watercraft that requires their use.
A sound-producing device such as a whistle is required on a paddleboard.
Contact information including a name and phone number and/or address must be written on the paddleboard.
Paddleboards are not permitted in designated swim areas in state parks.
Operating any type of watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife says stand-up paddleboards are a great way to exercise and enjoy local state parks from a very unique perspective; however, when you take yours out, remember that staying safe is a great way to have fun.