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Old 06-08-2008   #1
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
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Eagle County Boaters - heads up>>>

Somebody had better reach out to this guy ASAP. | Sheriff mulls boating ban after multiple river rescues

VAIL (AP) - A slew of rescues on the Eagle River had Eagle County Sheriff Joseph Hoy mulling this week whether to enact a boating ban as the river swells with snowmelt. OAS_AD('ArticleFlex_1');
National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Colton says mountain rivers are at their highest levels in 10 years, though the Eagle River should start receding by mid-June.
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly says a boating ban isn't something Hoy wants but that he will enact one if the office keeps getting rescue calls.
On Monday, 19 rafters were rescued after three commercial crafts capsized near the Eagle County Fairgrounds. Two weeks earlier, rescuers helped two women and their dogs after their raft had trouble in the same rapid. Everyone was OK.

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Old 06-08-2008   #2
e-town, Colorado
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attempts have been made to disueade him. it is a slow painfull process to even talk to him. I dont think he will go through with it, if you ask me. I will be the firs tone to float it when he does though.
P.S. all rescue efforts underneath him are volunteer... interesting.

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Old 06-08-2008   #3
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Englewood, Colorado
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He cannot do it under state law - law enforcement has the power to close a river to non-boating recreation only. They can ban tubing and swimming, but not kayaking or canoeing if I recall the statute correctly.
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Old 06-08-2008   #4
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Eagle, Colorado
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While I seriously doubt the river will be closed (too many paying customers). Nobody has brought the fact up that this raft flipping hydraulic is man made, and was placed below the take out of a poplar class II-III run. Maybe Eagle County should pay attention to people changing their rivers for irrigation and make sure it doesn't conflict with those using it for recreation
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Old 06-08-2008   #5
Gypsum, Colorado
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Old 06-08-2008   #6
Durango, Colorado
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Amen Pork Chop!
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Old 06-08-2008   #7
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or why don't you argue on the premise that a sheriff cannot close a federal navigable water way , it may be something american whitewater could look into if they do.
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Old 06-09-2008   #8
Boulder, Colorado
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Cheyenne posted the statue last week when this came up.

If I'm reading it correctly the Sheriff does have the authority to close the river to kayaks and rafts if he deems it to be "hazard to human life or safety". But then again when is a river not a hazard to human life or safety?

I think that they should stress the use of caution and only those who are advanced and confident in their skills should use the river at this time. Although who am I to talk, I'm just the woman who needed to be rescued a few weeks ago. I just started the rescue season off.

This is statue he posted in this thread:

There is a Colorado State statue that limits when an agency can close a river to kayaks and multi-chamber rafts.


33-13-111. Authority to close waters.
Statute text

(1) (a) The board shall promulgate rules to prohibit the operation of vessels on any waters of the state and ordering the removal of vessels from any waters of the state when such operation constitutes or may constitute a hazard to human life or safety.

(b) For purposes of this subsection (1), "vessels" shall not include whitewater canoes and kayaks except in the case of:

(I) A state of disaster emergency pursuant to section 24-32-2104 or 24-32-2109, C.R.S.;

(II) Disaster relief efforts that are underway and that may include debris removal;

(III) An accident or other emergency that occurs in or immediately adjacent to the water body;

(IV) Rescue efforts for victims that are actively underway and such efforts would be hindered by additional waterway traffic; or

(V) Active construction or transportation projects authorized under state or federal law.

(2) Any parks and recreation officer or other peace officer as defined in section 33-10-102 has the authority to enforce the provisions of this section under the rules promulgated by the board.

(3) Any person who fails to obey an order issued under this section is guilty of a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars.

Source: L. 84: Entire article added, p. 904, § 2, effective January 1, 1985. L. 95: (3) amended, p. 973, § 22, effective July 1. L. 2003: (1) and (3) amended, p. 1948, § 24, effective May 22.


Am. Jur.2d. See 12 Am. Jur.2d, Boats and Boating, § 6.

Applied in People v. Boyd, 642 P.2d 1 (Colo. 1982).
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Old 06-09-2008   #9
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Vail, Colorado
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Punish the guilty, not the innocent. Why not ban the comercial company who flipped three boats in Rodeo rapid. There was a serious breakdown in operating procedures if a woman hung on to a raft all the way to Gypsum. Where were their safety people with throwbags? Where were their drivers? If you're running people over a class IV drop in HIGH water where were safety kayakers? It was a shitty rapid before but now the county has really created a hazzard.
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Old 06-09-2008   #10
Old Timme'
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Eagle, Colorado
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Originally Posted by tboe101 View Post
Punish the guilty, not the innocent. Why not ban the comercial company who flipped three boats in Rodeo rapid. There was a serious breakdown in operating procedures .....
Whoa! Though I agree that there were poor choices made in running rodeo while the river was running highER, I would not say that an outfitter should be punished for the outcome on an isolated incident.....spend a day on the Ark while the water is up and this may seem less of a headline story. Unfortunately the media was there and painted a bad picture....did not help that the lady decided to extend her trip to Gypsum.

I do think the sheriff is over reacting about this...and I am sure he is getting pressure from some select individuals. Personally I think the Valley tends to over react to anything that happens out of the normal daily routine. I hear of hotel staff swaying folks about rafting as if this is the most dangerous thing out there.
Hopefully this will pass like the reaction everyone had after the "Edwards Incident" everyone remember that commentary barrage....folks falling in and swimming a short distance in shoshone....oh the horror...the madness.

Well this hopefully will be my last commentary on this topic....

Warm spell on its way...get out there and enjoy it everyone.

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