Date
Victim
Victim Age
River
Section
Location
Gage
Water Level
Difficulty
Cause Code(s)
Injury Type(s)
Factors Code(s)
Experienced/Inexperienced
Private/Commercial
Boat Type
Group Info
Other Victim Names
Status

Accident Description


The body of a 34-year-old Richard "Ricky" Francis Zinter was recovered in the Green River Monday, two days after he disappeared in a rafting accident in Dinosaur National Monument, according to officials.

On Saturday, a group of 16 people rafted Triplet Falls on the Green River. After navigating the rapids, four members of the private rafting party, including Zinter, decided to hike upstream to run a section known as the “Birth Canal.”

The group made it through the rapids on a 9-foot paddle raft but hit a rock shortly downstream, flipping the raft and tossing the four occupants into the river.

Three of the four rafters were able to swim to shore. Zinter was spotted in the water below the rapid before he disappeared.

According to a news release from the National Park Service, members of his rafting party said he appeared to be stuck.

“The rafting party observed that his personal flotation device and one shoe popped to the surface where he was last seen,” stated the press release.

The group searched for Zinter for approximately two hours before continuing downstream to seek additional assistance, stopping for the night at Rippling Brook campsite.

At 11:15 a.m. Sunday, the rafters notified rangers at Echo Park Ranger Station of the incident. Dinosaur National Monument staff contacted Moffat County’s Sheriffs Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to form a response team.

The multi-agency response team launched their water-based search and recovery efforts from Gates of Lodore at approximately 5 p.m. Sunday. On Monday, they arrived at Triplet Falls.

Around noon Monday, Zinter's body was located and transported to Echo Park by raft.

According to the National Park Service, Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located in a remote portion of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the monument’s northern boundary. The area is surrounded by steep canyon walls rising 1,200 feet and higher above the river.

There is no cell service in that portion of the monument, the National Park Service news release stated, and river flow was approximately 1,670 cubic feet per second at the time of the incident.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MP_Kelly.

I would be curious to know what the raft quality and capacity was. The reported 9 foot lengthcan often speak to 'K-mart quality', though NRS and Incept make 9' 6" whitewater grade rafts that
have either 1 thwart or no thwarts, that they market for R-2'ing or rigged as a small oar frame, butnot typically as a 4-person craft. 

 

Crews recover body missing rafter after apparent drowning on river at Dinosaur National Monument

Courtesy of National Park Service

Courtesy of National Park Service

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT, Colo. –The body of a missing rafter was recovered near Triplet Falls on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument Monday afternoon.

The 34-year-old Denver man was a part of a 16-member private river trip that ran Triplet Falls Saturday.  After going through the rapid, four group members, including the victim, hiked back upstream to run a section of the rapid known as the Birth Canal.

The group made it through the Birth Canal but hit a rock shortly below that caused the raft to flip, dumping all occupants into the river, according to a press release from the National Park Service.

Three of the rafters were able to swim to shore. The release states members of group reported the victim appeared to be stuck.

The group search for the missing rafter for about two hours. The group then continued downstream on their rafts to get help, the release states.

At about 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, the rafting party arrived at Echo Park Ranger Station to report the incident, the release states.

Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife assembled a response team to search for the missing rafter. The Denver man’s body was found Monday at about 12:30 p.m.

“The staff at Dinosaur National Monument expresses their condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” the release states.

The release states: “Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located in a remote location of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the northern boundary.”

Dinosaur National Monument is located along the Utah-Colorado border, and the portion located in Utah is about 17 miles from Vernal via US-40.

On Saturday, a group of 16 people rafted Triplet Falls on the Green River. After navigating the rapids, four members of the private rafting party decided to hike upstream to run a section known as the “Birth Canal.” The group made it through the rapids on a 9-foot paddle raft but hit a rock shortly downstream, flipping the raft and tossing the four occupants into the river. Three of the four rafters were able to swim to shore. The fourth person was spotted in the water below the rapid before he disappeared. His name has not been released.

According to a news release from the National Park Service, members of his rafting party said he appeared to be stuck. “The rafting party observed that his personal flotation device and one shoe popped to the surface where he was last seen,” stated the press release. The group searched for the missing man for approximately two hours before continuing downstream to seek additional assistance, stopping for the night at Rippling Brook campsite.

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2015/jun/22/denver-man-dies-rafting-accident/

 

From: Herm Hoops [mailto:hoops@ubtanet.com
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2015 6:44 AM
To: Herm Hoops
Subject: (NEWS RELEASE) Search Underway for Missing Rafter

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DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT NEWS RELEASE

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Search Underway for Missing Rafter

Dinosaur, CO - Search and Rescue staff from Dinosaur National Monument, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are responding to an apparent drowning that occurred at Triplet Falls along the Green River at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 20.

The ranger at Dinosaur National Monument’s Echo Park Ranger Station received notification of the incident around noon on Sunday, June 21. Four members of a 16-member private river trip fell into the water after their raft flipped at an area of Triplet Falls called the Birth Canal. Three of the rafters were able to swim to shore and recover the raft. The fourth rafter, a 34 year old man from Denver, CO, was spotted in the water at the base of the rapid, and then disappeared. The group stayed at the location for several hours searching for him before continuing downstream for assistance.

An inter-agency response team under Unified Command will travel by boat to Triplet Falls this evening and on-site water-based search and recovery efforts will begin at daybreak on Monday, June 22. Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located in a remote location of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the northern boundary.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebookwww.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTubewww.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

Dan Johnson
Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services
Dinosaur National Monument
11625 E 1500 S
PO Box 128
Jensen, UT 84035
Office Phone (435) 781-7702
Mobile (970) 629-3813

Fax (435) 781-7735