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Animas River too high, too cold to raft without life jackets

Durango Fire called to water rescue, but individuals had self-rescued
Durango Rivertrippers & Adventure Tours guide Galen Guillory, right, makes sure all passengers have their personal flotation devices on properly before a trip down the Animas River during a June 20, 2015, outing. The Durango Fire Protection District is warning people that the water in the Animas is too high and too cold to be on the river without life jackets.

Durango Fire Protection District was called out for a water rescue near Iris Park in Durango Wednesday afternoon, and while it ended up being a nonevent, the incident illustrated the dangers of the Animas River in runoff season.

“Nine individuals were floating in a private craft, and one fell out,” said Fire Marshal Karola Hanks. “The others tried to rescue him, and none had life jackets.”

They eventually got him out of the river, so the DFPD crew did not have to engage in a water rescue.

“People need to understand that the water is still too high and too cold not to be wearing personal flotation devices,” Hanks said. “They need to be respectful of conditions.”

The Animas River was running at 2,150 cubic feet per second with a water temperature of 53.8 degrees Wednesday.

abutler@durangoherald.com

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