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Colorado Parks and Wildlife out in full force over holiday weekend to enforce safe boating

PUEBLO, Colo. ((KRDO))-- Memorial Day weekend is the first major busy weekend of the year at Lake Pueblo, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wants to remind folks about the importance of water and boating safety - especially lifejackets.

In 2022, 42 people died on Colorado waters, which broke the previous record of 34, set in 2020. The deadliest body of water in those years was also Lake Pueblo.

CPW says the majority of these deaths are caused by people not wearing a life jacket.

Lake Pueblo is a large body of water and CPW has to patrol all of the more than 5,000 surface acres of water every day, making it hard to be everywhere at once. This is why CPW says life jackets are vital.

"It keeps you afloat," said Joey Livingston, Public Information Officer, CPW.

Right now, Colorado law states that when an adult is operating a boat they're required to have a life jacket on board for every person, and children 13 years and under have to wear that life jacket at all times. In fact, if a  child does not have a life jacket on, it's a $102 fine. 

To help make sure families are following the rules, CPW has expanded its ambassador program this year.

"It's going to be a group of volunteers that are passionate about water safety, and they're going to be out there educating people about water safety, water regulations, and boating regulations," said Livingston.

Those ambassadors will be out at lakes across the state to help alert staff on any potential violations out on the waters. 

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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