Chris Mullinex Water Rescue gears up for another summer of water safety
With the official start of summer right around the corner, and with plenty of locals and visitors already taking to the waterways of Grand County, it is time once again to think about the importance of water safety.
The topic is never far from the minds of Grand County’s Mullinex family, who in 2015 experienced a tragedy with the sudden accidental death of Christopher Mullinex, who drown while boating on Lake Granby over the Independence Day weekend. Mullinex, who was just 31 at the time, dove into Lake Granby without a lifejacket and did not resurface. A dive team recovered his body several days later.
That devastating event forever changed the lives of the Mullinex family and numerous other members of the local community. Christopher’s family took their immense grief and channeled it into a new endeavor, creating the Christopher Mullinex Water Rescue Fund in 2015 shortly after his death. The fund focuses on water safety education and places a special emphasis on the importance of life jackets, especially in the cold waters of Grand County.
“For us the education aspect is getting bigger all the time,” Dee Mullinex, Chris’ mother and founder of the Water Rescue Fund, said. “We recently finished the sixth-grade health fair. We also did a presentation on water safety to second graders. I have been invited to talk to an HOA. It has taken time for people to wake up. It (water safety) is a huge factor in childhood deaths and it is time to start paying attention to it.”
Mullinex said she feels her message of water safety is reaching the youth of Grand County. She noted that she often receives comments from students who have attended her educational sessions and years past who tell her they always wear their life jackets.
“Chris’ story has such an impact on them,” Mullinex said. “Talking about it makes that impact. I would just really like to keep expanding water safety.”
Since its establishment the Christopher Mullinex Water Rescue Fund has constructed, placed and equipped multiple lifejacket loaner stations at various locations around Grand County. To date they have five lifejacket loaner stations set up around the Three Lakes with plans to hopefully install one more later this summer. According to Mullinex a local Eagle Scout candidate has taken up construction of a sixth life jacket loaner station as his final project to obtain his Eagle Scout designation.
Mullinex said she hopes to install the new lifejacket loaner station at Wolford Mountain Reservoir north of Kremmling. There are currently five life jacket stations put out by Christopher Mullinex Water Rescue Fund. There are two different life jacket stations on Grand Lake, one at the East Inlet and one at the Grand Lake Town Beach. There is a life jacket station at Beacon Landing Marina on Lake Granby. Additional stations can also be found at Lake Granby at the Stillwater boat ramp and at Sunset Point. Each station carries 14 individual life jackets ranging from infant size up to adults.
As July draws ever closer Dee and others from Christopher Mullinex Water Rescue Fund and gearing up for their big annual fundraiser, the 4th annual Steak Shoot at the Crooked Creek Trap Club just south of Granby. The event features several different shooting competitions including trap shooting and several other competition events. There will also be a silent auction and a raffle for a raffle for a 12-gauge CZ Redhead Premier over/under shotgun. The event will take place July 13 at the Crooked Creek Trap Club. The public is invited to attend.
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