The mystery of how a collection of miscellaneous chains and padlocks came to be floating just under the surface of the Colorado River may have been solved.
Deputies from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were made aware of the floating hazards on Monday. At least two foam noodle tubes were found floating just below the water’s surface on the Parker Strip, north of the Echo Lodge Resort and south of the Parker Dam. The foam noodle tubes contain miscellaneous chains and padlocks that were positioned in a manner which could lead to damage to vessel outdrives if struck. Deputies from the La Paz County Sheriff’s Department located the two devices and removed them from the river.
With information obtained from the public regarding people seen placing the foam and anchors near the California shoreline, SCUBA divers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s dive team conducted a search on the river north of the Sunshine Resort.
Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Abel determined the foam noodle devices found were the remnants of a self-made designated swim and snorkel area, which had been placed along the shoreline by unknown visitors to the area over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Although they appear to have been intended to stay anchored to the river bottom, they had evidently become untethered by Monday.
“The public is reminded that the placement of a permanent mooring or swimming area requires permits per California law and U.S. Coast Guard regulations and could result in criminal prosecution,” a press release by the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said. “California law requires persons operating a vessel on the waterway to slow to a no-wake speed within 100 feet of a swimmer and within 200 feet of a beach frequented by swimmers.”
The statement asked the public to use caution and always keep a clear lookout for potential hazards while boating on the Colorado River. If any additional, non-natural hazards are located, the public is asked to contact law enforcement.