Kite tubing, other elevated sports banned at Lake Powell

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Life elevated is being restricted at Lake Powell.

The new recreation fad of kite tubing - and other activities that lift a person into the air behind a boat - are no longer permitted at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the National Park Service announced Thursday.

Kite tubing was first seen on Powell in April and thus far has resulted in serious injury to at least four people, who have had to be airlifted from the recreation area. In April, a 33-year-old man died after falling off a kite tube in Texas, according to a story on the Web site of KFDM-TV in Beaumont.

Kite tubes are large, round inflatable devices that, when towed behind a boat between 20 and 40 mph, gain lift, sometimes as high as 60 feet above the water, according to the Park Service. The tubes are difficult to control and, when handled improperly, can fall violently into the water.

The fall can be particularly traumatic because of the height, forward speed and the unusual position at which victims may hit the water, park officials said.

The ban also includes parasailing and kite boarding, the Park Service announced.

- Michael N. Westley