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

Accident Description


This event from the weekend of June 24-25, during the 1995 high water season in Colorado, illustrates the danger of being on fast moving water without a life vest. The victim, although classified as a swimmer by authorities rather than paddlers, was involved with the sport of river running at the time of their death.

On June 25 Ryan van der Stroep, 23, was tubing in runoff-swollen Clear Creek near Golden when his tube hit a tree and threw him into the water. A companion grabbed him and swan him to shore, trying to keep his head above water. Another friend, driving alongside the river, sent for help. Neither action was sufficient to save the victim's life.

SOURCE: Denver Post via Stacy Dorian

ANALYSIS: The absence of life vests in turbulent, fast moving water was a factor in both drownings. This is an avoidable, but often fatal omission. Life vests are worn in whitewater to insure that the swimmer will float, allowing him or her to concentrate of self-protection and self-rescue.

 

On June 25 Ryan van der Stroep, 23, was tubing in runoff-swollen Clear Creek near Golden when his tube hit a tree and threw him into the water. A companion grabbed him and swan him to shore, trying to keep his head above water. Another friend, driving alongside the river, sent for help. Neither action was sufficient to save the victim's life.