By Jeff Todd
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Two teens have been cited with breaking the law and jumping into Clear Creek with inner tubes. The high and fast water quickly took the tubes away from the teens and first responders had to shut down Highway 6 in order to save them.
“We got a call to respond up Clear Creek Canyon to assist Golden Fire with a swift water rescue,” said paramedic Patrick Jungels, a firefighter with the Arvada Fire Protection District.
The teens were separated and Golden Fire rescued one teen, the other teen was rescued by Arvada Fire, which posted videos of the rescue online.
“We’re always doing this kind of training so when this kind of situation arises we’re comfortable in the water and we can access the victim,” Jungels said. “We have a rope gun and that shoots a light line across the water. That’s what we use to bring our raft across.”
The teens were cited for “unlawful conduct on public property” by Colorado State Patrol and likely face a fine. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office closed Clear Creek to swimming and rafting last week.
Waters are flowing above 1,000 cubic feet per second, which is below the creek’s peak, but still dangerously fast. With warm temperatures remaining in the forecast for a few more days, rescuers hope people obey the law and avoid the mountain streams.
“Judging by all the snow in the mountains and what’s coming down right now, it’s probably a better bet to go to a pool that has lifeguards around and take it easy,” Jungels said.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.