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Make sure river fun is worth risk

Post Independent Opinion

As the snow begins to melt in the high country and the rivers take on the brownish tint of runoff, it’s time to put away the winter gear and break out the boats.With this year’s solid snowpack on the mountains, this spring and summer have the makings of an exceptional whitewater season, but we received a harsh reminder recently that it’s not just fun and games on the rivers.Jason Hansen, a 30-year-old Fort Collins resident, died after injuries sustained while rafting on the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon.Accidents will happen and the consequences can be deadly, but steps can be taken to minimize the risk. Steps should be taken.As with any activity, common sense is the best safety mechanism. As a whole, the guide services in the area have exceptional reputations and put safety first. But if you’re out without a guide and the conditions are dangerous, step back and make sure the whitewater fun is worth the risk. Don’t get in over your head – figuratively or literally (one often leads to the other).The rivers will only get higher and more powerful for the next couple of months, and with the higher, faster water comes more danger. Of course it’s the danger that heightens the excitement.The recent death is a harsh reminder that water recreation can be a dangerous activity.The rivers and all they offer are a big part of what makes Garfield County great. Enjoy the kayaking, rafting, fishing and any other river activity. Just make sure you’re around to enjoy it next season.


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