By Matt Kroschel

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A popular boating Colorado county now has a first responder boat patrolling the lakes, after years of local fundraising and calls for boat patrols.

On Tuesday, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office launched their new high-speed patrol boat on Lake Granby. Within hours, they had already made a successful rescue of six stranded boaters.

grand county sheriff boat Sheriffs Deputies On Patrol At Lake Granby

(credit: Grand County)

The maiden voyage also happened to coincide with the anniversary of Chris Mullinex’s drowning.

chris mullinex 1 lake granby drowning from family Sheriffs Deputies On Patrol At Lake Granby

Christopher Mullinex (credit: Mullinex family)

On July 3, 2015, the 31-year-old died while swimming at the Lake Granby. Since then, his mother, Dee Mullinex has pushed for a county patrol boat.

She also created a program to provide free life vests for lake users. The stands allow people who forget their vests to borrow and return them to stands near marinas in Grand County.

grand lake Sheriffs Deputies On Patrol At Lake Granby

(credit: CBS)

Grand County Sheriff’s deputies received a donated boat after the highly publicized drowning in 2015, but the boat was not equipped properly.

The sheriff’s office sold the boat and county leaders found the rest of the money in the budget to purchase the new boat.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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