Accident Database

Report ID# 272

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  • Flush Drowning
  • Other
  • Other

Accident Description

1995 saw a record number of commercial outfitter fatalities on Colorado rivers. The four deaths, roughly one for every 130,000 guests, is the highest annual toll since the state began keeping records ten years ago. All were flush drownings caused in part by unusually high water levels. Including private paddlers, there were a total of 10 whitewater fatalities statewide. Only one of these involved a kayaker.

On July 2 Jim Giulianelli, 54, drowned in Brown's Canyon of the Arkansas. Two paddlers were thrown from a raft in Staircase Rapid; one was recovered quickly. Giulianelli flushed some distance and was found face down, still in his PFD.

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