Rescue crews stress caution for river users
A few close calls on area rivers have rescue crews reiterating calls for caution.
“We’ve been called out three times in the last two days to river incidents,” Carbondale Deputy Fire Chief Rob Goodwin said Monday. “The water’s high, it’s dangerous. Be very careful, and if you don’t really know what you’re doing, now’s probably not the time.”
In two of the incidents, rivergoers were able to get to safety without outside aid. In the third, a man fell out of a raft Monday on the Crystal River and hurt his leg. He was able to get back in the raft and get to shore before rescue crews arrived with an ambulance.
Earlier this month, Dennis Janes, of Warsaw, Illinois, drowned in the Colorado River near Grizzly Creek. Janes was wearing both a life jacket and a helmet.
In other cases, said Glenwood Springs Fire Department Lt. Jesse Hood, a personal flotation device has made all the difference.
“It improves your chances,” he said. “Swimming ability has nothing to do with it. You have to have a life jacket on, have it tight, and make sure it’s in good condition.”
Hood encouraged boaters to contact the Glenwood Springs Professional Firefighters for free PFDs at email@example.com or 970-319-2672.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.