Effective immediately, the Huntington District of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has banned kite tubing on all district-managed recreational property.

A kite tube is a large, inflatable device with a solid fabric floor that is pulled behind high-speed boats, much like water skis. However, kite tubes are designed to become airborne. As speed increases, the entire tube is lifted into the air like a kite with the rider on top. The rider can be thrown by a sudden slowing or stopping by the boat. The kite tube can unpredictably dive into the water with the equivalent force of a 70-foot drop.

The ban comes after the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned users on June 30 that kite tubing has been blamed for at least two deaths nationwide this year, with reported injuries including broken ribs, necks and backs, as well as chest and facial injuries.

Warnings will be posted at the district recreation areas alerting users of the dangers associated with kite tubing and advising them of the ban. Corps rangers will ask violators to remove banned devices from corps lakes.

Failure to heed warnings will result in citation under Title 36, which could impose a penalty of up to $5,000 or federal imprisonment.

District lakes where the ban is in effect include: Dewey, Fishtrap, Grayson, Paintsville and Yatesville in Kentucky; Alum Creek, Deer Creek, Delaware, Dillon, North Branch of Kokosing and Paint Creek in Ohio; Beech Fork, Bluestone, Burnsville, East Lynn, R.D. Bailey, Summersville and Sutton in West Virginia; and John W. Flannagan in Virginia.

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