Recently, Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) rescued six people from the Poudre River and directed two more to exit the water, likely preventing another rescue - in less than 24 hours.
Right now, the river is flowing high, fast and cold. While the river is never completely safe, this is an especially risky time to float. Precautions are needed on still water, too, especially with Colorado weather. Each year, PFA responds to calls in which people are separated from flotation devices and are at risk in rough water due to a quick change from calm weather to high winds.
Water Recreation Safety Tips
Always wear a life vest. It can truly save your life. Each person rescued in the 24-hour period mentioned above was wearing a life vest, two with only their head and shoulders above water. Without life vests, these incidents could have had a different outcome.
Scout your route. The river can change suddenly. Look to local resources to plan your put-in and take-out points and for timely updates. Certain areas of the river include low-head dams, which are incredibly dangerous. Hazards, such as debris, can move and change in size quickly.
Float sober. The unpredictability and variety of river obstacles and water require your full, unimpaired attention.