September 2006

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Recent Accidents In Glen Canyon Prompt A Safety Reminder

A CAT-ASTROPHE -- It's important that ALL boaters wear pfds!

PAGE, Ariz. – After a series of recent accidents in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Superintendent Kitty Roberts is reminding visitors to think of safety when visiting the park.

Superintendent Roberts said, "Long,  hot summer days can be some of the most fun, but visitors should always remember to take appropriate precautions when visiting Glen Canyon.

"Wear your life jacket, drink plenty of water, watch the weather, keep an eye on your kids, and know your limits."

Summer monsoon thunderstorms can bring dangerous lightening, hail, rain, and winds. On July 30, a visitor from Gilbert, Ariz., was killed when lightening directly struck him while he was riding a personal watercraft on Lake Powell near Wahweap marina.

On July 31, another visitor, also from Gilbert, was struck by lightening at Lone Rock beach. This man was treated on scene by park rangers and flown by Classic Lifeguard to the Page Hospital, where he was evaluated and released.

Thunderstorms can be dangerous to boaters on Lake Powell. Last Sunday afternoon, two boats were swamped during the storms, and six people found themselves in the waters of Lake Powell.

They were pulled from the water by Utah State Parks rangers. Fortunately, they were wearing life jackets and there were no injuries.

Boaters should get out of the main channel and seek shelter on shore during storms. The National Park Service also broadcasts updated weather information on marine band channel 16.

In another end-of-July incident, park rangers were involved in the rescue of a 14-year old boy from Pismo Beach, Calif., who had fallen near Oak Bay, just north of Rainbow Bridge.

The boy was scrambling with other kids up a steep slickrock ridge, when he lost his footing and slid over 20 vertical feet, presenting back and leg injuries.

A Classic Lifeguard helicopter was dispatched to the scene. Seven National Park Service staff responded and were assisted by the boy’s family and other visitors in the area.

The boy was lowered approximately 350 vertical feet using technical rescue gear to a safe landing zone. He was transported to the Flagstaff Medical Center and is recovering.

Visitors also need to recognize the dangers of carbon monoxide. There have been recent incidents of carbon-monoxide poisonings at other lakes in Arizona.

Carbon monoxide is produced by any boat’s engine or generator and is odorless and colorless. Never swim or play near a boat’s exhaust, and don’t let engines or generators idle unnecessarily.