Accident Database

Report ID# 3077

  • Flush Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Dangerous weekend: Rafting accident kills man on Colorado River

By Nate Carlisle The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 05/26/2009 02:23:52 PM MDT

An Ohio man died Monday when his raft overturned on the Colorado River, marking the end of a dangerous Memorial Day weekend in southeast Utah. Dennis L. Young, 57, of Columbus, Ohio, was washed down river after his raft flipped at Skull Rapids in Westwater Canyon. The other two people from his raft got out of the water quickly, but Young may have been in the water 20 minutes before other rafters extracted him, said Grand County Chief Deputy Curt Brewer.

Young was wearing a helmet and life jacket, but likely passed out from the cold water and drowned, Brewer said. The group continued to a landing spot at Cisco where they called law enforcement. Heavy rains created flash flooding in southeast Utah just as outdoor enthusiasts and concert- goers descended on the area for the holiday weekend.

The Salt Lake Tribune (5/26/09)

Ohio man killed after raft overturns in Utah

MOAB, Utah (AP) -- Police say an Ohio man has been killed after his raft overturned in the Colorado River in southeast Utah. The Grand County sheriff's office says 57-year-old Dennis L. Young, of Columbus, Ohio, was one of three people in the raft on Monday when it flipped over at Skull Rapids in Westwater Canyon. The sheriff's office says the other two people in the raft got out of the water and could not resuscitate Young, The Salt Lake Tribune reported on its Web site Tuesday. They continued to a takeout and then called law enforcement. (5/26/09)

Man drowns rafting near Moab

Posted: May 26, 2009 10:52 AM PDT

Sheriff's deputies say an Ohio man is dead following a rafting accident yesterday at Westwater Canyon in Utah. The Grand County Sheriff's Office says 57-year-old Dennis Young was rafting with two other people and a dog in Skull Rapids. They say the raft flipped and two men and the dog were rescued, but Young floated down the river. Once Young's body was recovered, efforts to resuscitate him were not successful. Young was wearing a life jack and helmet at the time.

KJCT News (5/26/09)

Columbus man killed after raft overturns in Utah

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:08 PM

By Holly Zachariah The Columbus Dispatch

A Columbus man died yesterday Day while white-water rafting on the Colorado River in Utah. Dennis L. Young, 57, of the Northwest Side, was in a rented raft with his son, 29-year-old James Young, one other person and a dog when the raft flipped about 3:30 p.m. on the Skull Rapids in Westwater Canyon, said Curt Brewer, chief deputy of the Grand County(Utah) sheriff's office. Nearby rafters quickly rescued James Young, the other person and the dog but it took about 20 minutes to get to Dennis Young, Brewer said. Other rafters attempted to revive him but the group was about an hour away from the next stop.

The sheriff's office was alerted and met the group at that Cisco stopping station. The rapids in that area, about 50 miles northeast of Moab near the Utah/Colorado border, are particularly treacherous this time of year when heavy rains and runoff from the mountains raise the water levels, Brewer said. Still, Young and the others were camping and vacationing in the area and were experienced white-water rafters who apparently did everything right, Brewer said. Young was wearing a helmet and a life vest. He said Young likely lost consciousness in the cold water and drowned.

Columbus Dispatch (5/26/09)

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