July 2006

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National Park Service Prohibits ‘Kite Tubing’ At Glen Canyon
Page, Ariz. –The National Park Service has prohibited "kite tubing" at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, after careful evaluation of recent accidents involving this new activity. The restriction is effective immediately and applies to the entire park, including Lake Powell.

"Kite tubing has proven itself to be extremely dangerous," said Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Superintendent Kitty Roberts. "Ensuring the safety of our visitors is always the top priority of the National Park Service.

"There are many other, far safer ways to enjoy Glen Canyon – from waterskiing, to fishing, to exploring narrow side canyons"

Kite tubes are large, round inflated tubes towed by a boat at 20-40 mph. The user holds onto the kite tube as it rises into the air, 15-60 feet from the surface of the water.

Controlling a kite tube is extremely challenging, and the slightest upset in its balance causes the kite tube to violently fall into the water. The fall can be particularly traumatic, due to the height (often 30 feet or higher), forward speed (35-40 mph), and the unusual position at which victims may hit the water.

Park rangers first observed kite tubes at Glen Canyon in April of this year. Since that time, four individuals have been airlifted from the park with serious injuries, and there have been reports of additional minor injuries.

The restriction applies to any device that is towed by a boat and allows the user to take flight. This includes the Wego Kite Tube, manufactured by SportsStuff, Inc., and the Manta, manufactured by Sevylor.

The restriction also applies to parasailing and kite boarding.

The kite tubing restriction was instituted using the Superintendent’s Compendium, which allows the park superintendent to establish regulations to provide for public health and safety, protect park resources, and to avoid conflicts among visitor uses. The Superintendent’s Compendium is updated on an annual basis or more frequently when necessary.

The complete 2006 Superintendent’s Compendium is located on Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s website at: www.nps.gov/glca by clicking "Management Docs."

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