Accident Database

Report ID# 2275

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Man Dies In Boating Accident On Colorado River

By Maureen Oltrogge NPS

Morming Report - April 03, 2007

A 62-year-old Salt Lake City man died on the afternoon of March 31st while rafting on the Colorado River within the park. A total of four boats and 12 people were on a 25-day-long private trip, which launched from Lees Ferry on March 20th. Marc Allred and another man were running Crystal Rapid when their cataraft flipped, ejecting both men from the boat. Allred’s companion was able to swim to shore; Allred was picked up by another boat in the party. Once on board, Allred became unconscious and unresponsive.

The people on the boat began CPR and contacted the National Park Service by satellite phone. Rangers responded and continued CPR efforts, but they proved fruitless. Allred’s body was flown by helicopter to the South Rim, then transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff. Allred’s wife, who was also on the trip, was flown to the South Rim. The remaining trip participants continued down river. An investigation is underway.

From: "Riverwire" Date: May 27, 2007 8:08:00 PM>

Drowning Determined As Cause of Crystal Rapid Fatality>>

May 27, 2007 A fatality at Crystal Rapid on March 30, 2007 has been determined to be a drowning. Marc Allred, 62 years old, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was rowing the Colorado River in Grand Canyon with 11 other people when the accident occurred. Reports indicate that the group of 6 rafts and a kayaker scouted and then ran the rapid, with Mr. Allred in last position. Although his raft did not flip, he was thrown into the turbulent water of the first hole while attempting to run the right side. His passenger was also thrown from the boat but was rescued>>

An initial toxicology report showed an abnormally high level of alcohol, but according to Dr. Lawrence Czarnecki, Coconino County Medical Examiner, the reported level was so elevated that it would have caused death due to alcohol poisoning even before arrival at Crystal Rapid. This finding prompted a 2nd toxicology study which ruled out alcohol or drugs as a contributing cause of Mr. Allred’s death. A cardiac arrest or laryngeal spasm (where breathing does not resume even after surfacing) was also ruled out. Mr. Allred was well-outfitted, wearing a type III life jacket, wetsuit, neoprene booties and a spray jacket at the time of the incident.>>

Crystal Rapid holds the record as the most lethal rapid in Grand Canyon, with a total of 6 fatalities split evenly between commercial and self guided trips. “This may be due to the long swim potential with temporary entrapment in the Crystalhole” notes Dr. Tom Myers, co-author of Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon, and an avid river runner himself. River Runners for Wilderness extends our deepest sympathy to the friends, family and fellow trip participants of these river runners and also urges the utmost caution while navigating Crystal>>>>>>

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