Accident Database

Report ID# 705

  • Flush Drowning
  • Health Problem
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description

On May 26th a kayaker drowned on the popular "Numbers" section of Colorado's Arkansas River. This section was running at 2350 cfs, a level local paddlers describe as high and pushy. Peter James, 35, was running the river with another paddler. In rapid #5, he got caught in a hole and bailed out.

A posting to said that James's buddy got him safely into an eddy, then chased after his gear. This was no easy job at this water level! When he returned, James was unconscious. He began CPR, and soon afterwards a man panning for gold used his cell phone to dial 911.

Two other kayakers arrived and assisted with CPR until rescue squads arrived. They remarked that James was equipped with a drysuit and other relevant safety gear. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. There is a rumor that James, who had recently moved to the area from Ohio, may have suffered a heart attack, but I have no confirmation of this.


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