On the afternoon of July 10, 1998 there was another commercial boating accident on the Arkansas River, in the “Fractions” section approximately 6 1/2 miles north of Buena Vista, CO. The river was running at 2660 cfs, a medium-high flow. About ten minutes after the group put in at the Railroad Bridge the first raft in a three boat trip hit a large wave and flipped, throwing everyone in the boat into the river. Their guide got up on top of the flipped raft, pulled two other passengers up with him, then paddled to shore. Another guest self-rescued by swimming to the right bank. Then the second boat in the trip caught up and recovered two more swimmers. The victim, a 48 year old man, was found floating unconscious. Guides began CPR immediately, and called for help. Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Rangers and Sheriff’s Officers responded, and the victim was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
There was a second death on the Fractions Section of the Ark on July 10, at a level of 2600 cfs, after a raft flipped in a large wave. The other boats in the group recovered other passengers, but a 48 year old man was the last recovered. CPR was given without success.On July 10th a commercial rafting guest drowned on the Arkansas River, 6.5 miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado. CWA Safety Chair Roger Lynn reports that the river was running 2660, a medium-high level. The accident occurred at 2:40 PM, about 10 minutes below the railroad bridge put-in. The river is very fast and turbulent here, making boat based rescue very difficult.
The first boat in a three boat trip hit a large wave and capsized, throwing everyone into the water. The guide got on top of the flipped raft and pulled several passengers out of the river. The second boat rescued two others, and a third guest self-rescued by swimming to shore. The victim, a 48 year old man, was the last to be recovered. He was not breathing, so guides initiated CPR and called for help. Arkansas Headwaters river rangers and sheriff's officers were called, and the victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.