Experts: River Safety a Priority as Snow Melt set to Peak

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Snow Melt running into the Colorado River is expected to peak as the Colorado River Outfitters Association expects it to run 232% above average flow leading river trip experts to push safety as a priority.

"The Colorado River is an unending force and its energy is going to well over power yours." said Ethan Ball, a River Trip Guide with the Colorado Mesa University Outdoor Program, "the river is full of so many rocks that get passed down from the mountains of varying different sizes. It's not uncommon for your foot to get stuck in holes these rocks create"

The risks are above the water line as well. Tree branches that come under or near water level due to the high level of the river creates a filter that has the potential to trap anything in it that isn't water.

"Strainers, those are the ones that scare me, those trees that are screening stuff this time of year." said Wayne Smith, who took a float from the Redlands Parkway Boat Ramp to Loma this weekend.

Tips to keep in mind according to Ball: Keep towards the center of the river, don't try to stand up in the river, where a helmet, pick a activity that matches your ability, where a helmet and of course, a life jacket.

"A personal flotation device (PFD) isn't guaranteed to save your life but its going to greatly increase your chance at survival." said Ball.

PFD's are available at many river take-in's throughout the valley to borrow on a trip.


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