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Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Emphasizes New Lifejacket Regulation on Arkansas River
6/13/2011
Credit:
CO Parks News Release 06/13/11
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Emphasizes New Lifejacket Regulation on Arkansas River
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.

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.