Colorado Springs man dies rafting Royal Gorge
By Tracy Harmon, the Pueblo Chieftain
Published: June 15, 2014
CANON CITY — A 44-year-old Colorado Springs man died following a rafting accident in the Royal Gorge section of the Arkansas River at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The victim was identified as Christopher Sevilla, according to Capt. Don Pinover of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. “Sevilla had apparently been having some type of respiratory problems before he and five other rafters were tossed out of a commercial raft while negotiating rough waters in the gorge. Sevilla floated downriver some distance before he was pulled to shore unresponsive,” Pinover said.
Rescuers immediately began resuscitation efforts and were able to flag down the tourist train which was headed back to Canon City. Sheriff’s deputies were notified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife rangers that they were continuing CPR on Sevilla as he was being brought out of the Royal Gorge. Sevilla was pronounced dead when the train arrived in Canon City at the South First Street crossing, Pinover said. Sevilla had been wearing a helmet and a personal flotation device. It is believed that Sevilla was not with any other family members on the raft trip, Pinover said.
It was the second commercial rafting fatality of the summer on the Arkansas River. The first drowning occurred Tuesday when Van Hodges, 48, of Enid, Okla., died as the result of an accident at the Salt Lick area west of the Royal Gorge.
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