Accident Database

Report ID# 100617

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Asthma Attack
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Man who disappeared floating Colorado River near Radium identified as 36-year-old Denver resident

Vail Daily - Staff Report 

The man who disappeared May 31 while floating the Upper Colorado River has not been found. According to Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin, Shawn S. Diaz, 36, is from the Denver metro area, and he is still considered missing.

Diaz was floating the Upper Colorado River in an inner tube with a group of friends Sunday when he was separated from them. He was last seen in the water by his inner tube near the Eye of the Needles rapid, and it was reported he was not wearing a lifejacket.

Mutliple agencies responded to the call about a boater in distress near the Radium campground at about 2 p.m. Sunday and started a search. Efforts were suspended around 7:30 that night before resuming this week without success. Schroetlin said water operations have been suspended unless new leads arise.

The sheriff’s office is asking for the public to be vigilant in the area Diaz went missing and to let authorities know of any leads. Schroetlin said they are looking at the case as a potential drowning.

We are re-posting the Grand County Sheriff's recent press release.

"On May 31, 2020 at approximately 2 p.m., the Grand County Communication Center received a call about a possible boater in distress near Radium on the Colorado River. According to witnesses, a male in his 30’s was last seen near Eye of the Needles in the water near a personal inner tube. It was reported that the male was not wearing a personal floatation device.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County EMS, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Eagle River Fire Protection District and Vail Mountain Rescue reported to the area and initiated a search for the missing male. At approximately 730 p.m., the search was suspended and resumed again Monday morning. The party remains missing. We will provide an update when we receive more information".

Grand County Search and Rescue was happy to be able to assist the Grand County Sheriff's OfficeGrand County EMSBureau of Land Management - ColoradoColorado Parks and WildlifeEagle River Fire Protection District and Vail Mountain Rescue Group.

Grand County Search and Rescue would like to remind people recreating on the river to do so safely. The water is running high and the water temperatures this weekend were around 40 degrees. There is a real danger for hypothermia.
Don't forget to wear your personal flotation device, helmet and clothing suitable for being in the water. Be sure you or someone in your party knows the section of river you plan to float. Make sure your equipment and skills with that equipment is suitable for the conditions - for instance, an inner tube in high running cold water is not is not suitable for most sections of river in Colorado. Don't go boating alone. Have fun and stay safe on the river!

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