Accident Database

Report ID# 3148

  • Health Problem
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

7/10/2009 8:56:00 AM Email this article  Print this article
Man dies in rafting accident
David Campbell becomes third river death in two days
Jessie Aragon - Mail Staff Writer
David Campbell, 49 of Carrollton, Texas, died in a rafting accident on the Arkansas River near Nathrop after the commercial raft in which he was riding capsized Thursday morning.The incident occurred about 10:36 a.m. in Pinball rapid, Class III whitewater near the north end of Browns Canyon.
Chaffee County Undersheriff Keith Pinkston reported Campbell was among seven in a Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base boat operated by the Boy Scouts of America. After hitting a rock in the middle of the river, the raft threw all passengers into the water. All either swam to shore or climbed aboard another raft.
There were no other injuries.
Campbell held onto the capsized raft and was soon helped into another boat. He was responsive then, officials said, but became unresponsive minutes after the rescuing raft reached shore.
Efforts to resuscitate Campbell began immediately by medical personnel on scene.Because of remoteness of the area, Colorado State Park Rangers and Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived within the hour. After their arrival, resuscitation efforts were ended.
Chaffee County Search and Rescue volunteers evacuated the victim using Union Pacific Railroad tracks on the east side of the river.Randy Amettis, Chaffee County coroner, was present and pronounced the victim dead at 12:40 p.m. Coroner's personnel reported an autopsy will be performed in Colorado Springs at 9 a.m. today.
At the time of the incident, Arkansas River flow was 1,860 cubic feet per second measured at the Nathrop gauging station.
Campbell became the third river related death on the Arkansas in two days.

Man dies in rafting accident near Nathrop

Claire Trageser

The Denver Post

One man has died after a rafting accident today on Class 3 rapids in the Arkansas River, according to the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office. The victim, a 49-year-old man from Carrollton, Texas,, was part of a commercial rafting trip. The Sheriff's Office is withholding the man's name until his family is notified. At 10:36 a.m., the man's boat hit a rock in the Pinball Rapids in Brown's Canyon near Nathrop, according to the Sheriff's Office. All of the boat's passengers were thrown from the boat. The victim held on to the capsized raft and was pulled onto a second boat. He was responsive when he was taken out of the water, but his heart stopped on the second boat, said Stew Pappenfort , a senior ranger at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

Resuscitation efforts were started immediately. Colorado State Park Rangers and Emergency Medical Services arrived within an hour, the Sherrif's Office said. The victim was then evacuated by Chaffee County Search and Rescue. He was pronounced dead by Chaffee County Coroner Randy Amettis at 12:40 p.m. "He was only in the water a couple of minutes," Pappenfort said. "It could be that the cold water and extertion caused a medical complication, but that's pure speculation at this point." The river was flowing at 1860 cubic feet per second at the Pinball Rapids, the Sheriff's Office said. Arkansas Headwaters has no high water advisories for that section of the river, Pappenfort said. "It's very boatable," he said. "If I could choose any place to go boating, I'd choose Brown's Canyon."

At least six people have drowned in the state's rivers in the past 30 days, including two Denver-area residents who drowned on Tuesday after a rafting accident on the Pine Creek rapids in the Arkansas River.

Man Dies On Commercial Rafting Trip On Arkansas River

All Passengers Thrown From Raft In Brown's Canyon

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. -- A 49-year-old man from Texas died on a commercial rafting expedition after the raft capsized Thursday morning.

The victim, whose name is not being released until his family is notified, was rafting with several others in Brown's Canyon, on the Arkansas River, near Nathrop between Salida and Buena Vista. As the raft was going through the class 3 rapids at Pinball Rapid, the raft hit a rock and capsized.

All passengers were tossed into the river. The Chaffee County Sheriff said other rafters in the river were able to rescue some of the passengers while the others swam to shore. The victim held on to the overturned boat until he was rescued.The sheriff's office said the victim was responsive when he was pulled into a second boat but when the boat reached the shore, his heart stopped.

Resuscitation efforts were started immediately. Because of the remoteness of the area, Colorado State Park Rangers and emergency medical services arrived within the hour. Upon arrival of the emergency crew, efforts to continue resuscitation were terminated, the Chaffee County Sheriff's office said. The victim was evacuated via railroad tracks by Chaffee County Search and Rescue. Coroner Randy Amettis was at the scene and pronounced the victim dead at 12:40p.m. The man was from Carrollton, Texas.

The incident occurred at about 10:36 a.m. The river was flowing at 1860 cubic feet per second as measured at the Nathrop gauging station at the time of the accident.

It's not known what outfitter the man was rafting with.

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