As the weather warms up, it's the perfect time to hit the water in Northern Colorado. However, officials are warning residents to play it safe this spring.

In a press release, the City of Loveland revealed that it is partnering with Larimer County agencies to encourage water safety during the warmer months — a response to the nearly 40 fatal drownings Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) recorded in 2022, which marked Colorado's deadliest year for water fatalities.

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The release noted that drowning risk rises in the spring due to increased water levels from snowmelt. Still, there are ways to keep yourself safe.

"Our county has a lot to offer in terms of outdoor recreation," said Justin Whitesell, Emergency Operations Director at the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), in the release. "We want our community members and visitors to get home safely with positive memories to share, and a little bit of preparation goes a long way."

How to practice water safety in Larimer County

To help you prepare for your water adventures in Colorado, Larimer County recommends the following:

  • Register for a boating safety class here.
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Larimer County law requires children 12 and under to wear them.
  • Have a whistle or sound-producing device on board your vessel (also required by law).
  • Tell others about your recreating plans and when you plan to return.
  • Stay up-to-date with the weather forecast and be on the lookout for high winds.
  • Have a cell phone with you.
  • Wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol or marijuana.
  • Understand the laws of the water and be respectful of other vessels.
  • Label your water equipment with your name and phone number.

Learn more about staying safe on the water in Larimer County here.

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