LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — At least six people have drowned in Colorado since last Friday, an alarming trend for local dive rescue teams.
Friday, two Fort Carson soldiers drowned at Lake Pueblo.
Saturday, a man drowned in Lake Dillon while sailing. That same day, a man drowned after falling off an inner-tube at Chatfield Reservoir.
Two more deaths were reported Tuesday, including a drowning in Clear Creek outside of Golden, and in an irrigation canal in Palisade.
“It does seem so far in 2020, we’ve been out here more often than usual,” says firefighter Jeffrey Moore.
Moore is a firefighter and paramedic who works on South Metro Fire Rescue’s Dive Team.
That team rescued one person from Chatfield Reservoir last weekend, later finding the drowned victim underwater.
“It’s certainly unfortunate,” says Moore. “We train for these events, but we train for these events in the hopes that we can rescue someone.”
Moore isn’t sure why the state has seen so many water-related deaths in the past week, but says it’s a concern for first responders still focused on the pandemic.
“We are busy at the fire department,” he says. “We’re running calls for people that need to go to the hospital for COVID, we’re running on fires and car accidents, and we will respond to these calls in the waterways, but any call we can prevent from happening is better for us.”
None of the six victims were wearing life jackets, according to local agencies.
Moore says everyone, regardless of ability, should have access to a life jacket when near water.
He also says people who are drinking alcohol or using marijuana should avoid entering the water.
“If you’re by the body of water, if you’re in the water swimming, if you’re operating a boat, or on a boat, you should always have a PFD (personal floatation device) secured to your body,” says Moore.