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Man dies kayaking in Yampa River Canyon

Dinosaur National Monument

DINOSAUR, Colo. — A 66-year-old man from Craig died Saturday during a private kayaking trip on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument.

The man was on a two-person inflatable kayak, officials said.

According to a release by the Dinosaur National Monument, preliminary reports indicate the kayaker hit a rock in Tepee raid around 2 p.m. Saturday, and never resurfaced. He was wearing a personal flotation device.

The other kayaker continued 24 miles downstream to Hells Canyon Ranch to report the incident. Staff found out just before 9 p.m. Saturday and a search began Sunday morning.

At 11:40 a.m. Sunday the man’s body was found about three miles downstream from the place he was last seen.

Search and rescue crews had to use a helicopter because of the remote locations and low water levels along the Yampa River. They used a contracted helicopter from PJ Helicopters of Red Bluff, CA and the Mesa Verde National Park Helitack Crew, already on site from a wildland fire assignment.

The Tepee Rapid is a class II+ rapid in the Moffat County portion of Dinosaur National Monument. It’s about 10 miles downstream from the Deerlodge Park boat launch.