On June 14, 2022 at approximately 3:00PM, The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a report that a private raft overturned in the Poudre River just east of Mishawaka and one of the rafters was unaccounted for. As personnel were responding, the Communications Center was notified by the International Emergency Response Coordination Center that they had received an SOS activation from a supported device in the area.
An adult male was pulled from the river and a citizen witness, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer, and three deputies performed CPR while waiting for medical response. The male was transported in the CPW vehicle to Hewlett Gulch, while CPR was still being performed, where they met a medical helicopter which transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. By all accounts, the rafters were experienced and had proper equipment, including the SOS device. This was the second emergency call of the day regarding rafters on the Poudre River.
Rafter dies after being pulled from 'super-high' Poudre River northwest of Fort Collins
Fort Collins Coloradoan
A man pulled from the Poudre River on Tuesday afternoon has died, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. The man's death marks the first death on the river this year. The sheriff's office received a report of a private raft overturned in the river just east of Mishawaka Amphitheatre in the Poudre Canyon about 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Wednesday news release.
Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District was called to the scene, and they were assisted by Larimer County's Emergency Services Unit and Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District Chief Hugh Collins told the Coloradoan Tuesday.
A citizen witness, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer and three deputies performed CPR while waiting for medical help, the sheriff's office said in its Wednesday release. The adult male was taken to Hewlett Gulch in a wildlife agency vehicle, with responders continuing CPR during transport. A medical helicopter flew him from Hewlett Gulch to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The man has not been publicly identified.
The sheriff's office release said rafters in the group were experienced and had proper equipment, including an SOS device, which notified emergency responders. It was the second emergency call made Tuesday regarding rafters on the Poudre River, the sheriff's office said in its release.
The section of the river where the fatal incident happened is known as Upper and Lower Mishawaka. It is a popular section in part because of its rapids.
Brad Modesitt, owner of Fort Collins-based commercial rafting company Mountain Whitewater, said his company was guiding a trip with seven rafts, including safety rafts, and 50 people about 30 minutes ahead of when the incident happened.
He said the river was flowing at 1,850 cubic feet per second Tuesday afternoon, which he considers "super high'' water.
"When it's flowing that high, it's big, big stuff and it's game on,'' Modesitt said. "In that big of water you need to have all your safety measures in place even if you are experienced.'' Modesitt said the rapids in the section Tuesday were "running a good 4-plus.'' American Whitewater classifies rapids on a scale of I to VI with IV considered advanced and V expert. Modesitt said commercial rafting companies were guiding trips on the river Tuesday. He said his company portaged around other rapids because of their difficulty.
Unusually high temperatures over the weekend rapidly increased the Poudre River's flow. Modesitt said the river rose 1,000 cubic feet per second Saturday night into Sunday morning, reaching about 2,750 cfs. He said that prompted the company to postpone Sunday morning commercial rafting trips before resuming in the afternoon when the flow decreased by 600 cfs.
Wednesday morning, the river was flowing at 1,740 cfs.
This time of year, the water is also cold because the river's source is snowmelt from the mountains, which can further complicate incidents when boaters fall into the river.
Officials are advising people not float the river in Fort Collins due to the river's high flow and cold water.
Man dies after raft overturns in Poudre River
Larimer County Sheriff's Office said the man died after a raft overturned in the river just east of Mishawaka
Author: Wilson Beese (9NEWS)
June 15, 2022
LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A man died after a raft overturned in the Poudre River Tuesday afternoon, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office said. Around 3 p.m., the county's dispatch center received a report that a private raft overturned in the river just east of Mishawaka and that one of the rafters was unaccounted for. Dispatch was also informed by the International Emergency Response Coordination Center that it received an SOS activation from a supported device in the area.
A man was pulled from the water and a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officer, three deputies and a witness began performing life-saving measures, the sheriff's office said. CPR was performed, even as the man was taken by CPW vehicle to Hewlett Gulch, where he was then taken by helicopter to the hospital and pronounced dead.
According to accounts, the rafters were experienced and had proper equipment including the SOS device, the sheriff's office said.
Rafters are encouraged to take some precautions to help emergency responders. Rafters should ensure they have the proper gear, including lifejackets that fit. They should also permanently write or engrave their name and phone number into all items including kayaks, paddles, inner tubes, and life jackets. Anyone who loses gear and is unable to safely retrieve it can call the non-emergency number for the sheriff's office: 970-416-1985.