September 2007

Be Safe On Lake Powell This Labor Day Weekend

PAGE, Ariz. – Labor Day weekend marks the end of the busy summer season at
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and the National Park Service is reminding visitors to keep safety in mind while visiting the park.

“Ensuring the safety of our visitors is the top priority of the National
Park Service,” said Glen Canyon National Recreation Area superintendent
Kitty Roberts.  “With a little bit of caution and care, visitors can have a
wonderful, safe vacation on Lake Powell.”

Last year, there were five fatal accidents on Lake Powell, all of which may
have been prevented.  Three of these involved drownings in which the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

Excessive boat speed was a contributing factor in one of these cases. A PWC collision involving a 15-year -old boy who was unsupervised tragically resulted in his death.  A lightening strike claimed the life of another man while riding his PWC during a thunderstorm.

Important tips for a safe visit to Glen Canyon and Lake Powell include the following:

  • Wear a life jacket. Many drownings have been prevented because of a
    simple life jacket. Children 12 and under are required to always wear a
    life jacket while a boat is underway.
  • Watch your kids. In the blink of an eye, children can wander off,
    leading to tragedy.
  • Watch out for summer thunderstorms. If you are on Lake Powell when
    thunderstorms are in the area, get somewhere safe onshore. Flash floods
    happen almost weekly during monsoon season. Choose your campsite so you are not in a flash flood area.
  • Always designate a driver whether you are in a vehicle or on the
    boat. New National Park Service regulations make boating under the
    influence just like driving under the influence. People who have been
    drinking also shouldn’t be swimming.
  • Remember the dangers of carbon monoxide.  Don’t swim or linger
    anywhere near your boat’s exhaust.
  • Cliff jumping is deadly and is strictly prohibited at Glen Canyon.
Consider starting each day with a safety minute: Talk with your companions about what you’ll be doing and discuss the potential safety hazards.  Plan ahead what to do if there is an emergency.