JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a possible drowning at Wellington Lake.
A man and a woman ended up in the water after their canoe capsized at about 10 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
“I’m in shock, this wasn’t what I was expecting today,” said Wellington Lake Park Ranger Randi Clark.
Clark and Wellington Lake Manager Jeanne Sander were both in the office Wednesday morning when a witness started yelling that someone was in the water.
“We only saw one person floating in the water, the canoe was quite a distance away from her,” said Sander.
“She was waving her arms calling for help,” Clark said.
She had been treading in the cold and white capped lake for more than five minutes before rangers could reach her. There were wind gusts of up to 50 mph when the canoe capsized.
“We pulled her out, she was telling us she was nauseous, she couldn’t move and she was in shock and so we were trying to help her out, get her warm, we had blankets for her,” Clark said.
The 72-year-old woman was airlifted to the hospital with hypothermia, officials said.
Hours later, there was still no sign of her 66-year-old husband.
The couple had life jackets in their canoe, but they weren’t wearing them.
“That is the hardest thing because it could have been prevented,” Clark said.
“I think she was very fortunate and must have had someone looking down on her because she’s in her 70s and for her to be out there in the water without a jacket or anything and lasting that long in this cold lake, is amazing,” Sander said.
The couple came in Tuesday night from Bailey to camp and fish, according to Sander.
A dive team with West Metro Fire Rescue searched the water Wednesday. Officials said the search would continue until the man’s body is found.
Wellington Lake is about six miles southeast of Bailey.