Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Source: Colorado Statutes : TITLE 33 WILDLIFE AND PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION : PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION : ARTICLE 13 VESSELS : 33-13-111. Authority to close waters.

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.
History

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.
Annotations

ANNOTATION
Annotations

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

Applied in People v. Boyd, 642 P.2d 1 (Colo. 1982).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You got it.

I suspect with the rising water, some communities might take it upon themselves to try to close streams that are at flood stage.

A couple of years ago (2 ?) there was a near drowing of a tuber in Boulder Creek that resulted in a closure of Boulder Creek. I remember hearing that some places where taking a very strict reading of the statue and if you were "swimming" they took it as a violation.


Probably if you do run into a closure situation, the best bet is to not try to get in the face of whoever is patroling the stream and be understanding of the difficult position they might be in (orders from above, etc.). Contact their department with the above information.

Also... if you do happen to take a swim, and your craft does head down stream without a body in it, probably a good idea to let the authorites know asap what type of boat, color, description, etc. so that they do not go looking for a body somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
Boulder Creek

I was there at Boulder Creek, when the police tried to close it to everyone, but soon realized that they could not and reopened it for boaters, not tubers. OMG, tubers, I saw a lady that got out and was scraped from head to toe, bloody with barley any clothes left on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
some interesting details in the regs

I just did a search for "kayak" in the regs pdf and came across this:

c. “Use Restriction” means any order issued prohibiting
the operation of vessels and single-chambered air-inflated
devices on any waters of the state and requiring the removal
of vessels and single-chambered air-inflated devices from any
waters when such operation constitutes, or may constitute, a
hazard to human life or safety. A use restriction order shall
apply to whitewater canoes or kayaks.

doesn't seem quite so cut-and-dry. I guess--wait...

aha--here's the key:
b. A hazard to human life and safety shall not be deemed to
exist based solely upon the river’s flow rate, which is usually
measured in cubic feet per second.

here the full text that concerned me:
3. A use restriction order shall be issued by a peace officer
whenever the peace officer determines that a hazard to human
life and safety exists within his jurisdiction.
a. For the purpose of issuing a use restriction order, a peace
officer may deem a hazard to human life and safety to exist
whenever one or more of the following circumstances or
conditions exists:
(1) A state of disaster emergency has been declared to exist
pursuant to 24-32-2104 or 24-32-2109, C.R.S.
(2) Disaster relief efforts, which may include debris removal,
are underway.
(3) An accident or other emergency occurs in or immediately
adjacent to the waterbody.
(4) Rescue efforts for victims are actively underway and such
efforts would be hindered by additional waterway traffic, or
(5) Active construction or transportation projects authorized
under state or federal law.
b. A hazard to human life and safety shall not be deemed to
exist based solely upon the river’s flow rate, which is usually
measured in cubic feet per second.

looks all good...def. worth being familiar with, even printing and keeping a copy in the car at the put-in or in the dry bag...​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Here's the link to the parks dept site with the pdf of the regs:

Boating Rules and Regulations - Colorado State Parks
33-13-111. Authority to close water.​
(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 white water 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 occurs in or immediately
adjacent to the water body;
(IV) Rescue efforts for victims 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Keeping a printed copy of the state reg in a dry bag might not be a bad idea. If confronted, be courteous, remember, the officer is just trying to do their job and may not be fully aware of the state regulation.

And also note that if an agency does decided to try to close a section to kayakers (or multi-chameberd rafts) because of "safety" reasons, it might be a good idea to contact the attorney responsible for the jurisdiction (e.g. city attorney, etc.) and let them be aware that the agency might now be responsible for any injuries once the signs go down (because the agency has now determined that the water is safe).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Boulder Creek

I was there at Boulder Creek, when the police tried to close it to everyone, but soon realized that they could not and reopened it for boaters, not tubers. OMG, tubers, I saw a lady that got out and was scraped from head to toe, bloody with barley any clothes left on.
In 1995 it rained for a few weeks straight in Boulder and we caught Boulder Creek at way over 1200 CFS a few times. Insane at that level all the way through town and out East.

That spring rescue personel were often out in the creek looking for bodies when reports came in about unmanned kayaks floating down the creek. Some kayakers actually saved some of the rescuers one time when they got stuck, swamped mid-creek. Or so they claimed. At that time there was lots of discussion about Boulder Creek being closed and officially it was I guess. Having just moved to Boulder I thought it was a boating paradise and that's how Boulder Creek always ran in the Spring. 8 years later I sort of gave up hope for ever seeing that again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
clarification of my point

Sorry, the point I'm making (trying to make?) is that "peace officers" may occasionally interpret it to be within their authority to impose a "use restriction" which "SHALL APPLY to whitewater canoes or kayaks", and that in fact they do have the authority ("A use restriction order shall be issued by a peace officer whenever the peace officer determines that a hazard to human life and safety exists within his jurisdiction"), but NOT "based solely upon the river’s flow rate, which is usually measured in cubic feet per second", which is a subtle and very key point in the regs that may need to be brought to the good peace officer's attention, and having a copy of the regs on hand will be of great assistance in trying to convince Johnny Law that he is wrong, since as we all know cops are sooooo amenable to be contradicted, right?


I just did a search for "kayak" in the regs pdf and came across this:

c. “Use Restriction” means any order issued prohibiting
the operation of vessels and single-chambered air-inflated
devices on any waters of the state and requiring the removal
of vessels and single-chambered air-inflated devices from any
waters when such operation constitutes, or may constitute, a
hazard to human life or safety. A use restriction order shall
apply to whitewater canoes or kayaks.

doesn't seem quite so cut-and-dry. I guess--wait...

aha--here's the key:

b. A hazard to human life and safety shall not be deemed to
exist based solely upon the river’s flow rate, which is usually
measured in cubic feet per second.


here the full text that concerned me:

3. A use restriction order shall be issued by a peace officer
whenever the peace officer determines that a hazard to human
life and safety exists within his jurisdiction.
a. For the purpose of issuing a use restriction order, a peace
officer may deem a hazard to human life and safety to exist
whenever one or more of the following circumstances or
conditions exists:
(1) A state of disaster emergency has been declared to exist
pursuant to 24-32-2104 or 24-32-2109, C.R.S.
(2) Disaster relief efforts, which may include debris removal,
are underway.
(3) An accident or other emergency occurs in or immediately
adjacent to the waterbody.
(4) Rescue efforts for victims are actively underway and such
efforts would be hindered by additional waterway traffic, or
(5) Active construction or transportation projects authorized
under state or federal law.
b. A hazard to human life and safety shall not be deemed to
exist based solely upon the river’s flow rate, which is usually
measured in cubic feet per second.


looks all good...def. worth being familiar with, even printing and keeping a copy in the car at the put-in or in the dry bag...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
great post Cheyenne! from all the regs I read above it appears that kayaks are good to go unless there's some kind of obstruction or f'ed up situation that you wouldn't want to deal with anyway.

the key to the the Boulder Creek situation was they determined that if they closed the creek, once it was safe enough to reopen, they would be inherently liable from that point forward if anyone got hurt. so it's not in the Mans best interest to have that on their shoulders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
One more thing to remember...

Have the phone number for non-emergency calls to the local S&R folks handy. If you and your craft are separated, give them a courtesy call to let them know. Give the type of craft, the color, and any other identifiable information. Remember that if they see or get a report of a kayak all by it's lonesome, they will have to assume that the owner is somewhere in deep doo-doo and will start a search for the owner in the most logical place (the river).

I believe for the City of Boulder the number is 303-441-3350
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
arrest of paddler

Sorry, the point I'm making (trying to make?) is that "peace officers" may occasionally interpret it to be within their authority to impose a "use restriction" which "SHALL APPLY to whitewater canoes or kayaks", and that in fact they do have the authority ("A use restriction order shall be issued by a peace officer whenever the peace officer determines that a hazard to human life and safety exists within his jurisdiction"), but NOT "based solely upon the river’s flow rate, which is usually measured in cubic feet per second", which is a subtle and very key point in the regs that may need to be brought to the good peace officer's attention, and having a copy of the regs on hand will be of great assistance in trying to convince Johnny Law that he is wrong, since as we all know cops are sooooo amenable to be contradicted, right?

I just tried to find video online of the Olympic C1 boater who was arrested boating the Potomac at flood levels after being followed down river by helicopters. That was Davey Hearn in Jan. 1996. He was tackled by cops, handcuffed and arrested because the Potomac was "closed". Anyone have video of that incident?

Here's an article I found about that "When the Potomac River near Washington, DC reached high record levels in 1996, an epic surf wave developed near Brookmont Dam. Olympic canoeist Davy Hearn is one of the most soft-spoken and respectful individuals you will ever meet. Although the river was supposedly closed, he had not heard about the closure or encountered any authorities on his way to the water. He was surfing the wave when a park ranger called him ashore. Davy paddled over, hoping to convince the ranger to allow him to continue. Instead he was grabbed by several nearby park police officers. He was yanked from the water, shaken from his boat, and handcuffed. He was charged with a wide array of crimes, including resisting arrest.
The incident took place in full view of TV cameras and was broadcast on the evening news. Park Police argued that paddlers had no business being on the water. They said that that allowing anyone to run the river at near-flood levels put them at risk because the law forced them to attempt rescues regardless of the danger. Paddlers quickly pointed out that the “duty to respond” to an incident does not mandate an actual rescue if a situation is unmanageable.
Hearn argued he was qualified to make the decision to be on the water for himself. The question eventually went to court, and the judge threw out the case. The next time the river got that high he and his friends surfed the wave without interference."
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top