Man escapes Estes Park stream after first responders arrive for swift water rescue

Local News

ESTES PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — There were some frantic moments Wednesday after calls for help went out for a swift water rescue near Estes Park.

That person, a 50-year-old man, is ok, but the emergency workers are sending out a warning to watch for high fast-moving water.

When the call first came there were reports that a child had fallen into the water. Emergency crews scrambled to a remote area of the Big Thompson River just outside Estes Park.

It was near Big Thompson River that crews began searching for what they thought was a child that had been swept away.

“We just saw the guys with orange vests along the river and the had little boards kind of look like a boogie board,” said tourist Janet Myers.

Estes Park emergency crews later discovered it was an older parent who had called to say their 50-year-old son was fly fishing, fell into the water and needed help.

“He said somebody had fell and they were looking for his hat any glasses,” said tourist Gary Myers.

The fisherman was able to get out on his own, but the call was a concerning reminder about the dangers of fast-moving water.

“As fast as that river is moving right now, it’s scary that someone would have to go in there for a rescue,” said Myers.

The close call comes at a time when Estes Park is packed with tourists.

“That water is powerful and relentless and though it’s predictable, it will sweep you way and definitely get you into trouble,” said Estes Valley Fire Protection District Division Chief Paul Capo.

There are fast undercurrents that can pull a fully grown adult under the water and downstream.

The cold temperatures will disorient you and get you into trouble quick. 

Firefighter says if you go anywhere near swift water wear a personal flotation device.

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