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June 12, 2022

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Two Rescues at Lavern Johnson Park in Lyons

Boulder County, Colo. -

On Sunday, July 12, 2022 approximately 12:40, Boulder County Communications was notified of two 10-year old children in tubes who needed rescue, at LaVern Johnson Park. The two children were tubing with their father, who was waiting to catch the children downstream. However, the children arrived with significant force, knocking the father down and continuing to float past. One child fell out of her tube near the shore and was rescued by bystanders, while the other was able to make his way to the opposite side of the creek. Firefighters from Lyons Fire Protection District provided first aid to the injured child and walked to the second child and assisted him back to his family. The injured party was evaluated by Paramedics from American Medical Response and transported to a local area hospital with minor injuries.

At approximately 3:45 pm, shortly after the conclusion of the first rescue, Boulder County Communications was notified of approximately 6-7 people who had been tubing and who were stuck on the far side of the creek in the same location. Rescue agencies responded back to the park to assist. Firefighters from Lyons Fire Protection District were again able to access all seven stuck parties and assist them with walking out and back to the park. None of the 7 sustained injuries.

Over the past week, high temperatures have increased snowmelt. As a result, creeks in Boulder County are flowing at near peak runoff levels. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office recommends conservative decision making around the water. Consider the following safety tips while recreating in or around the water:

  • Wear a Life Vest. Choose the right Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Not all life vests are the same.
  • Know Conditions. Creeks in Boulder County are filled with melted snow – the are always cold. People can easily experience hypothermia in the water. Always check weather and river conditions. Plan your put-in and take-out points. Certain areas can be incredibly dangerous.
  • Float Sober. The unpredictability and variety of river obstacles require your full, unimpaired attention.
  • Show & Tell. Make sure someone not in your party knows your route and timeline. If plans change, put a note in your vehicle on the driver’s side dashboard. Write your name and number on your vessel. If you and your vessel become separated, this helps responders verify if someone is missing or in need of help.
  • In the Water. Get on your back with feet pointing downstream. Don't stand up or try to walk out. Swim as close to the shore as possible then crawl or scoot out to avoid entrapment in the rocky shore.
  • Reach or Throw, Don’t Go. If someone is caught in fast moving water, reach out to them or throw a rope to the person in the water. Do not attach the rope to yourself in any way or enter the water or you may also become in need of rescuing.
  • Call 911 ASAP. Call with details about the location of the incident. Make sure someone has a waterproof phone available.
  • Stay Detached. Never tie anything to anything – including you. If you connect to something, including another tube, and encounter an obstacle, the situation can be more dangerous.

Agencies assisting with this rescue effort included:

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

Lyons Fire Protection District

Hygiene Fire Protection District

Lefthand Fire Protection District

Boulder Emergency Squad

American Medical Response

The associated Boulder County Sheriff's Office case number for the first rescue is: #22-02715.

The associated Boulder County Sheriff's Office case number for the second rescue is: #22-02723.

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/s/ Ryan Singer, Emergency Service Coordinator