DENVER (KDVR) — Three drownings over the weekend pushed 2022 to become the deadliest year ever for water recreation-related deaths.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the previous record for water deaths and drownings was set back in 2020 when Colorado experienced 34 drownings.

Over the weekend, three more drownings occurred. On Sept. 9, two people drowned at Dillon Reservoir and on Sept. 11, one person drowned in Corn Lake at the James M. Robb – Colorado River State Park. These three drownings pushed the number of water deaths to 36 with 34 of those being confirmed drownings so far in 2022.

“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,” said CPW Boating Safety and Registrations Program Manager Grant Brown. 

Although many mountain reservoirs close for the winter months, the year isn’t over for water recreation activities. CPW is reminding anyone who takes the opportunity to boat year-round in warmer areas to remember their water safety practices.

“As we move into fall, please stay vigilant when recreating on the water,” Brown said. “Protect yourself from the dangers of cold water immersion and shock by wearing a life jacket and being aware of weather conditions, and water temperatures where you plan to recreate. Boat sober, enjoy the water, but always do so with a life jacket on – they save lives.”

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