Accident Database

Report ID# 1073

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 3:58 pm

Post subject: Sad day on the Eagle.

At approximatly two pm today a PRIVATE rafter was killed on the Edwards Mile of the Eagle river. He was sitting in the front of a raft that was guided by his friend when they flipped on an wave ( he thought). They were both next to the raft when the guide told him to let go, there were kayakers nearby assisting and the story is vague from there. He was pulled to shore about a half mile down stream at the top of the edwards lake. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006

Post subject: Eagle Eyewitness Account

The Eagle river near Vail had a tragedy of a rafter who was on the same section we were boating. On Sat. the 27th, a raft with two men on it flipped while running the Edwards mile (continuous class III-IV) on the Eagle. Although we did not know them, their boat was between our lead raft/kayaker and Kim Boberschmidt and myself kayaking in the rear. Doug Blockcolsky (kayaking), Tim Perez, Chuck Boberschmidt, & Shellie Miller (all in lead raft) managed to get the one swimmer to shore after about a mile in continuous class III-IV water. The swimmer held on to Doug throughout the entire rapid, then lost consciousness.

Despite heroic efforts by Doug, Chuck and Tim in the rescue and Tim and Chuck performing CPR, they were unable to revive the individual. After approximately 30 minutes, emergency personnel arrived and took over, but were also unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. While scouting the rapid Kim and I found the other rafter, who had been rowing the flipped boat. We convinced him that his best chance at helping his buddy was for him to make sure rescue personnel knew that he himself was okay.

I find this hard to write about, but feel the need to let you all know. Although it was high water (~2800 cfs) and serious rapids, these were local rafters with much experience on this river.

Mark Rafter dies in Eagle River accident

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS May 28, 2006 EDWARDS, CO: A Gypsum man rafting on the Eagle River died Saturday after his boat flipped, Eagle County sheriff's officials said. The 57-year-old man and another man were thrown into the water when the boat capsized sometime before 2 pm, sheriff's Lt. Mike McWilliam said. Both men were wearing life vests and both had several years of experience rafting, McWilliam said. The other man swam to shore. Kayakers pulled the victim to shore and performed CPR for a half hour, McWilliam said. The kayakers and emergency personnel were unable to revive him.

It's just kind of a freak accident,? McWilliam said.(The river) is near peak flow this weekend so that makes for bigger waves.? Neither alcohol nor drugs were considered to be factors in the accident, McWilliam said.

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