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Accident Description


Fell from cliff at night!

Body found in Colorado River is missing Avon 19-year-old, coroner says The Grand County Sheriff’s Office identified the teen as Patrick “Mac” Maccormick Kelsall

By Jesse Paul | jpaul@denverpost.com

July 26, 2016 at 8:35 am

The body pulled Sunday from below the surface of the Colorado River is a 19-year-old man from Avon who has been missing since last week, authorities confirmed Tuesday. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office identified the teen as Patrick “Mac” Maccormick Kelsall. Kelsall was reported missing Thursday morning while camping near Gore Canyon during a kayaking trip on the river with a friend.

When the friend went to look for firewood about midnight on July 20, he returned to find Kelsall missing, authorities say. “He said he searched the area, all night, and called 911 in the morning,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Authorities searched for roughly two days before Kelsall’s body was found Saturday afternoon in a static water area of the Colorado River and about 25 feet below the current’s surface. His body was recovered on Sunday afternoon. Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock said an autopsy for Kelsall is planned for Tuesday. His cause and manner of death have not been released.

Lance Maggart lmaggart@skyhidailynews.com

Body found in river near Gore Canyon Deputies from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) located a body in the Colorado River at around 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon July 23. The body was recovered Sunday afternoon at around 1 p.m. with assistance from Summit County Water Rescue and Summit County Search and Rescue. Authorities believe the body is that of missing 19-year-old Avon man Patrick “Mac” Maccormick Kelsall who officials have been searching for since Thursday morning July 21. The search for Kelsall focused on an area near the entrance to the Gore Canyon on the Colorado River, near the Applesauce/Fisherman’s Nightmare Rapids.

The body found Sunday morning was located within the search area and clothing worn by the deceased matches descriptions of clothing Kelsall was wearing when he disappeared. The search for Kelsall kicked off Thursday morning July 21. County Dispatch first received the initial 911 call about the missing teen at 6:44 a.m. that morning. The reporting party (RP) was a friend Kelsall who was camping with him at the time of his disappearance. The RP informed authorities he had left camp Wednesday night sometime around midnight to look for firewood and when he returned to camp Kelsall was missing. The RP told authorities he continued searching the area for Kelsall throughout the night and called 911 Thursday morning to report the teen’s disappearance.

On Thursday Grand County Search and Rescue and Deputies from the GCSO combed the area near the Gore Canyon where the pair were camping with assistance from the air by a Flight for Life helicopter. Searches of the area continued Friday and Saturday before authorities suspended search efforts following the discovery of the body. Deputies from the GCSO initially located the body Saturday afternoon in a deep eddy pool within the Colorado River. Because of the difficulty associated in underwater body retrieval County officials were unable to remove the body Saturday evening.

The body was removed from the Colorado River Sunday after a dive team from Summit County responded to assist with efforts. According to a press release issued by the GCSO the search efforts encompassed roughly 1,088 official work hours between the multiple responding agencies. The remote nature of the search area made operations additionally difficult and complicated communication and logistics. Officials said a multitude of Kelsall’s family and friends responded to the Gore Canyon area following reports of the missing teen. County authorities plan to conduct a walk-through review of the campsite where Kelsall disappeared with his family; an action undertaken at the family’s request. Multiple agencies from throughout Grand County and the Rocky Mountain region responded and assisted with the search efforts including: Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Summit County Search and Rescue, Summit County Water Rescue, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Vail Mountain Rescue, and Bureau of Land Management.