Accident Database

Report ID# 31553

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Josh Thompson Via FB: The commercial company involved did an outstanding job. Every safety precaution was taken. The guides, safety kayakers and shore safety all did their jobs well.

Rafter’s Body Pulled From Clear Creek

June 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

By Melissa Garcia

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4 Denver) – A Sunday afternoon water rescue in Clear Creek County turned into the unfortunate recovery of a body. The death of a man visiting from the Chicago area is one of Colorado’s first rafting deaths of the 2018 season.

Rising river levels are just part of the inherent danger of whitewater rafting. Currently, Clear Creek waters are flowing at a medium level.

It’s unknown what caused the man on Sunday to fall out of the commercial raft.

Commercial rafts carry more than 1,000 riders down Clear Creek every day during summer.

River guides and other employees were seen hugging one another outside of AVA Rafting in nearby Idaho Springs.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, and our hearts go out to (his) family,” said Duke Bradford, Director at AVA Rafting.

He said the man was rafting with a group of friends when he went overboard in a rougher section of the creek known as the lower canyon.

“This group was doing an advanced section. There are sections of river that are mild. This one was much more on the wild side,” Bradford told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

River guides made multiple efforts including a line cast out through the water, but were unable to get him back on the raft.

The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office responded with a rescue team. Efforts to revive the man with CPR were unsuccessful, a witness said.

Bradford said it was unclear whether a medical condition may have triggered the man’s fall.

His identity and cause of death have not been released.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to



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