One dead after raft overturns on Eagle River in Eagle-Vail

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EAGLE-VAIL, Colo. — One person died after a raft overturned in the Eagle River in Eagle-Vail on Thursday afternoon, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

five people were aboard the private raft when it turned over, the sheriff’s office said.

Four of the people emerged from the water, but the fifth was unaccounted for. The person was later found floating near the Eaglebend Apartments in Avon.

First responders pulled the person from the water and began CPR. The person was taken to a hospital, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

The individual’s name, gender and age have not been released.

The sheriff’s office said rivers and creeks in the area have reached or will soon reach their peak water flows because of a record-setting winter.

Creeks and rivers will be running exceptionally high and could be dangerous.

“These high waters can be fast and furious with strong undertows and opportunities for even the best and most experienced river runners to find themselves in harm’s way,” the sheriff’s office said.

The current Colorado snowpack is 654% of normal, meaning there’s still a lot of melting to go.

Water levels are expected to peak through the next week or two. Some counties such as Eagle are providing free sandbags to residents to protect their property from the expected rise in water.

Officials are warning the upcoming rafting season might be a long but dangerous one.

The Eagle River Fire Protection district reminded rafters to always wear a life jacket and proper headgear, know current water conditions and ensure the watercraft being used is designed for white-water travel.

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