Swift water rescue training at Lake Pueblo

Swift Water Rescues

PUEBLO, Colo. - With warmer weather, more people are heading out to our local lakes and rivers. For some park rangers at Lake Pueblo, they now have more tools to be able to help if something goes wrong.

"Labor day, 4th of July, all of those are busy weekends for us for sure but typically Father's day is one of the busiest," said Lucas Owen, Lake Pueblo State Park Ranger.

Jason Sanchez is one of several who visited this week.

"It is kind of cold but other than that it's pretty nice when the sun comes out," he said.

He adds he knows what can happen when something goes wrong and you find yourself at the mercy of the river.

"Sometimes you can't fight it you just have to go with it but you have to keep yourself above water," Sanchez said.

Unfortunately, that happened to another family a few days ago.

"A person over here at the pond had heard some screaming from a child coming off the river. When he got there, he saw a woman trapped under a log and a young girl stranded on top of the log. They're raft ended up flipping over getting past them and floating downstream. They were definitely in a bad situation," Owen said.

This isn't the first time a rescue was needed here and for the park rangers they realized they needed to be ready. This year all of their full time rangers were put through swift water training so they could respond themselves instead of waiting for another agency to get there.

This was the first time Owen used his new skills. After suiting up he made his way to the log to free the woman and child and got them to a sandbar.

We loaded everyone up into the rafters and brought them back over," Owne said.

It was a happy ending made possible by being prepared.

Park rangers say the first line of defense when it comes to staying safe in swift water always wear a life jacket.

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