By Ewan Palmer On 6/12/19 at 11:38 AM EDT
A man who was leading a group of Boy Scouts, including his son, on a rafting trip in southern Colorado has drowned following an accident on the Arkansas River
The victim, identified as 42-year-old Sameer Prasla of Austin, Texas, died after falling into the river around 3:45 p.m. just west of Canon City near Spike Buck Rapids on June 10, reports the Canon City Daily Record. Prasla was part of commercial raft trip with the Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base with his son and other Boy Scouts when the accident occurred. "A large group of Boy Scouts was on a commercial rafting trip with Mountain High Adventure Base out of Villa Grove," Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper said, reports The Pueblo Chieftain. "We were notified the boat flipped and there were several people in the water."
Police said officials from Tallahassee Fire Protection District, American Medical Response and Colorado Parks and Wildlife pulled Prasla out of the water and began performing CPR on him. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Prasla was wearing both a level 5 life jacket and a helmet at the time. His death was recorded as accidental drowning by the coroner's office.
The day after the fatal accident, authorities in nearby Pueblo announced restricted access to the Arkansas River as a result of the dangerous conditions.
The Pueblo Police Department and the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said that recreational use of the river, including swimming, will be prohibited from Pueblo Boulevard to the Pueblo County/Otero County line due to the dangerously
Tourist with Boy Scouts group dies rafting Arkansas River; high water spurs river closures
By: Liz Henderson, Danae Bucci Jun 12, 2019 Updated Jun 12, 2019
Texas man was killed while rafting the Arkansas River’s whitewater Monday, just days after state officials issued high-water warnings across the state.
Sameer Prasla, 42, was thrown from his raft 17 miles west of Cañon City, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Although he wore a life jacket and helmet, officials suspect he drowned. No one else on his raft was injured.
The Arkansas was rushing at about 4,200 cubic feet per second — nearly double the average June flow of 2,200 cfs.
The river below the Pueblo Dam was closed Tuesday to inner-tubes and nonwhitewater boats, but the upper Arkansas through its 152-mile Headwaters Recreation Area remains open, state Parks and Wildlife announced Tuesday.
The river also was closed east of Pueblo Boulevard by Pueblo police and the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.
The National Weather Service issued a “severe alert” for Cañon City, where the river is expected to rise early Friday, producing minor flooding through Sunday.
Advisories were in place, too, for two river stretches between Granite and Buena Vista and for the segment through the Royal Gorge west of Cañon City, the Pueblo Chieftain reported.
The bulging Arkansas also led to cancellations of some events at the FIBArk this Thursday through Sunday.
As flows near Salida exceeded 3,240 cfs, FIBArk called off the SUP Skills for Bills, Hooligan Race and SUP Cross and Crazy River Dog Contest, the Mountain Mail reported.
Still, organizers said, the high, rushing water should make for good entertainment for the thousands of spectators expected.
Yes, we have a way above average snowpack, but it’s not setting a record for the highest peak. It’s high water, which we have experienced before,” said Bob Hamel, executive director of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association.
But as the snow melts, “it’s going to come fast and furious,” said Hamel. So the Outfitters Association has worked closely with Parks and Wildlife to recommend closures at certain Class 4 and 5 sections.
Nonetheless, there always are safe spots to raft, he said, and guides get training every day.
“It’s part of what we do and accept in the inherent risk of adventure sports. But we stack the deck in our favor,” Hamel said. But in adventure sports such as rafting, people need to know their limitations. Even strong, healthy individuals can get swept away fast with water levels this high, he said. “It can get disorienting fast.”