PUEBLO, Colo. (KDVR) — Rangers at Lake Pueblo State Park said two people are dead and a child was injured after three kayaks got caught up in high winds and rough waters Sunday.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said one kayak was carrying an adult and a child when it capsized and two other adults in individual kayaks tried to go help and also flipped over.

Rangers arrived at all four people in the water and immediately got a toddler out to perform life-saving measures. The child was then airlifted to a hospital in Colorado Springs. Rangers recovered a deceased adult from the water and began searching for another missing adult.

CPW said wind gusts were between 30 to 35 mph which caused too rough of waters to search for the missing kayaker by boat.

An underwater drone was used to search from the shore and a body near the shore was discovered 20 feet deep within an hour.

Deadliest year on Colorado’s waters

This year was the deadliest on the water with 38 deaths, and 34 were recreation-related drownings. CPW said there were 22 in 2021 and 34 in 2020.

“Some common themes we saw in some of the drownings this year was the use of alcohol and people swimming from shore, on innertubes, or paddling,” CPW Boating Safety and Registrations Program Manager Grant Brown said last month.

CPW advises anyone who recreates on the water to follow all the safety tips and make sure they carry the essential safety gear:

  • Wear your life jacket when on or near the water
  • Check the condition of your boat and all required boating safety gear
  • Avoid boating alone and tell someone where you are going and when you will return
  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths
  • Stand-up paddleboards are considered vessels in Colorado and require a life jacket on board at all times
  • Be knowledgeable of ice conditions before ice fishing
  • Waterfowl hunters should be especially careful when hunting from a boat and wearing waders

If these deaths are confirmed drownings, it will bring the number of recreation-related drownings to 36.