Date
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Victim Age
River
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Location
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Difficulty
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Cause Code(s)
Injury Type(s)
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Private/Commercial
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Accident Description


From: Herm Hoops

Sent: Monday, June 27, 2016 6:43 AM

Subject: Dinosaur recovery

National Park Service News Release Date: June 26, 2016

Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702 or (970) 629-3813

Dinosaur, Colorado –Search and rescue staff located a body matching the description of a rafter missing since Friday evening. Sandra (Sandy) Wolder, age 62, of Aurora, Colorado was an apparent drowning victim at Upper Disaster Falls on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore within Dinosaur National Monument. At approximately 1:30 pm on Sunday, June 26, 2016, search and rescue team members located a body matching the description of the missing rafter that was trapped underwater in the roots of a large downed tree in the river. The team is currently working on retrieving the victim's body and will be transporting it by raft to Echo Park.

At approximately 5:00 pm on Friday, June 24, 2016, a raft guided by Adrift Adventures, one of the commercial companies operating in the monument, hit a rock and flipped at Upper Disaster Falls. All occupants of the raft made it to the shore except Wolder. The raft became pinned to a rock in the river due to the force of the current. The trip leader notified the monument about the incident by satellite phone. Members of the rafting group searched the shoreline for the missing rafter.

On Friday evening, Classic Lifeguard Air Ambulance was dispatched to conduct air reconnaissance along the river corridor until darkness prevented further efforts. The search and rescue team mobilized at Gates of Lodore and launched Saturday morning. The team arrived onsite at approximately 10:30 am on Saturday. The team worked to free the pinned raft in case the victim was still trapped in the raft. There was no sign of the victim after the raft was freed.

The search and rescue team continued to probe areas around the rapids where the victim's body may have been located. High river flows in the area complicated search efforts by creating hazardous conditions for the search and rescue team. The rest of the rafting group continued down river on Saturday and exited the river at Echo Park on Sunday, June 26.

The staff at Dinosaur National Monument would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sandy Wolder, as well as the rest of the members of her rafting group. The search and rescue team consisted of three rafts with two Moffat County Sherriff's Office staff, four Dinosaur National Monument Rangers and one commercial guide from Dinosaur River Expeditions. Disaster Falls, which has a class III-IV rating depending on river levels according to the International Scale of River Difficulty, is located in a remote section of the Canyon of Lodore, approximately 7 miles from the river launch at the Gates of Lodore. The Green River was flowing at approximately 8,600 cubic feet per second at the time of the incident. Cell phone reception is not available in this area and even satellite phone reception is not reliable.

 

Searchers still looking for missing rafter at Upper Disaster Falls

Posted June 25, 2016

by Web Staff Dinosaur National Monument

DINOSAUR, Colo. -– Search and rescue staff from the National Park Service, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and a commercial outfitter continue to look for a missing rafter on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore. A raft flipped at around 5 p.m. Friday at Upper Disaster Falls. Everyone on the raft made it to shore except for a 63-year-old woman. The trip leader called for help with a satellite phone, while other rafters searched the shoreline for the missing woman. The force of the current pinned the raft to a rock in the river.

Classic Lifeguard Air Ambulance was dispatched to conduct air reconnaissance along the river corridor until darkness prevented further efforts. The search and rescue team was mobilized at Gates of Lodore and launched Saturday morning. The search and rescue team consists of three rafts with two Moffat County staff, four Dinosaur National Monument Rangers, and one commercial guide from Dinosaur River Expeditions. High river flows in the area are complicating search efforts by creating hazardous conditions for the search and rescue team.

Disaster Falls has a class III-IV rating depending on river levels, according to the International Scale of River Difficulty. It’s located in a remote section of the Canyon of Lodore, approximately 7 miles from the river launch at the Gates of Lodore. The Green River was flowing at approximately 8,600 cubic feet per second at the time of the incident. The name of the missing person has not been released.

From a member of the recovery team:

There are two large logs pointed upriver on “Disaster Island” (Below Upper Disaster Falls) with a large rock.  The current tends to pull toward the oft closed channel around the left of the island.  The boat hit the first log and wrapped around the rock.  The recovery was at the root ball of the second log.