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Experienced/Inexperienced
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Accident Description


Search Resumes For Man Who Fell Out Of Raft

KREMMLING, Colo. Adding to the challenges are high water and high winds that make it tough for rescuers to search by boat. The river is running about twice as high as it normally does this time of year. Search teams were out again Sunday looking for a man who fell out of a raft in Grand County. The sheriff's office said a 41-year-old man fell off the raft while fishing on the Colorado River southwest of Kremmling. He wasn't wearing a life jacket.

Crews were using dogs hoping they could pick up his scent. "We're searching the shores and any snags and anything else we can find," a rescue crew member said. The accident happened around 12:45 p.m. on Saturday in a popular rafting area called Needles Eye Rapids. Authorities said the man was an experienced rafter and was familiar with the area. Adding to the challenges are high water and high winds that make it tough for rescuers to search by boat. The river is running about twice as high as it normally does this time of year. Rescuers were using long poles to probe parts of the river's bank overgrown with brush.

About a dozen friends and family were nearby to help in any way that they can, holding out hope, but rescuers fear that too much time has already passed. "I think the chances are pretty slim that we'll find this individual alive," the rescue crew member said. The sheriff's office said they have had to search for people in that stretch of water many times in the past and it has always been very difficult.

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School official's body found in Colorado River
The Denver Post
 
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Eric Kophs
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The body of Eric Kophs, the Cherry Creek School District official missing since a rafting trip June 20, was found Wednesday several miles downstream in the Colorado River. A rafting guide found the body of Kophs, 42, about noon on an island that had been submerged until the past few days, according to the Grand County Sheriff's Office. Kophs had been fishing and rafting with a friend when he fell into the river in the Needle's Eye Rapids south of Kremmling.

Kophs was the director of elementary education for the Cherry Creek district.

Joey Bunch, The Denver Post