Tubers survive overturning in Colorado River |

Tubers survive overturning in Colorado River

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Members of the Glenwood Springs Fire Department prepare for a possible swift water rescue at the Glenwood Whitewater Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Three people survived after their inner tubes overturned in the near-peak flows of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs on Tuesday afternoon.

“It sounds like there were two inner tubes tied together with three people on board,” Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said.

All three people, two men and a woman, made it to the shore without assistance within a half-mile of where the tubes overturned near Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

They declined medical care when first responders, including the fire department and Glenwood Springs police, arrived on scene shortly before 4 p.m.

Tillotson attributed their success in getting back to the shore to wearing life vests.

“At least they were wearing personal flotation devices, which probably saved their lives in this case,” Tillotson said.

Even though the river near Iron Mountain is relatively flat, the tubes still ended up tipping the passengers into the river, which Tillotson said should be a warning about the dangers of tubing right now.

“The river is just coming back down from peaking. Velocity is really high,” Tillotson said.

The U.S. Geological Survey measurements of the Colorado River below Glenwood Springs has the flow at 20,400 cubic feet per second Tuesday afternoon.