Man dies after raft flips on Arkansas River near Salida

Photo: Getty Images

SALIDA, Colo. — A man died Friday afternoon after the raft he was on flipped on the Arkansas River near Salida.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, about 12:45 p.m., its river rangers at the Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area responded to a report of a man floating face-down in the river near Bear Creek Rapid.

“The AHRA rangers rescued the man and began life-saving measures as emergency medical personnel arrived, taking over care of the patient. However, the patient never recovered and eventually was pronounced dead at the scene,” CPW said in an email to FOX31 and Channel 2.

CPW said that while the incident scene was in Fremont County, the man’s body was turned over to the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office for identification and determining the cause of death.

The initial 911 caller reported a private raft had flipped and five people were in the water.

CPW said kayakers floating with the raft were able to rescue four of the people, but the fifth was swept downstream.

Several local, state and federal authorities began searching for the man on land and in the water.

“We offer our condolences to the family of this person,” said Tom Waters, AHRA operations manager. “And I appreciate the efforts of the six CPW rangers and all the other responders who initiated the search and rescue and tried to save this man. Sadly, they were unsuccessful.”

The man’s age and name have not yet been released.

His death is the 10th reported in Colorado waters since June 7. CPW says it is the third boating-related death in the AHRA in 2019. The AHRA stretches 152 miles between Leadville and Pueblo.

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