This weekend Steamboat Springs will jumpstart our summer events with the 34th Yampa River Festival. Initiated to raise awareness for the last remaining major free flowing river in the seven-state Colorado River basin, the Festival has morphed into a great excuse for a fun-packed family weekend. Competitions such as slalom and freestyle may sound reminisent of winter races but you’ll be swopping down for neoprene. Stand up paddleboard events embrace our latest craze, plus challenges for kiddoes and not forgetting Fido in the crazy river dog contest. Friends of the Yampa website.
While the Festival is all about having fun, it is important to remain mindful of water safety at all times. Run off is in full flow, causing flooding in parts and full rapids often when you least expect it. At Condos in Steamboat we wanted to share our own checklist for remaining water wise.
• Wear a life vest when going on the River and never tie it to a boat or board.
• Wear suitable footwear and use caution on banks for slippery ground and rocks.
• Wear the right clothing hypothermia is possible whenever the water temperature falls below 70°. Loss of body heat is 25 times greater in cold water than in air of the same temperature.
• Do not overestimate your own swimming ability, especially as the current is extremely fast right now. The same goes for pets.
• Buddy up, do not be in the River alone.
• If wading, do not step where you cannot see the bottom.
• Watch the weather – we get a lot of thunder and lightning during the afternoons which can be treacherous. Always get out of the water during a storm.
• Do not allow anyone who cannot swim out into the water with you, the river is flowing far too quickly at this time of year.
• If someone falls in and you are on the bank, do not go in after them. Call for help immediately. If they are in deeper slow flowing water look for a flotation device that you can get to them, otherwise keep watch of them constantly.
• Never stand up in your boat, when going through rapids it is safer to kneel.
• If you capsize save people first and equipment only if safely retrievable.
• When entering water go feet first, never dive or jump from a height.
• Wear sunscreen the water’s reflection can accelerate sunburn.
• Remain hydrated and do not drink alcohol.
KEEP AWAY FROM THE WATER’S EDGE ESPECIALLY WITH CHILDREN. RUN OFF CAUSES ICY WATERS TO FLOW AT A VERY FAST PACE.