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Accident Description


Subject: Rafting Death - Green River, Hell's Half Mile

From: CORiverRat@Yahoo.com (River Rat)

Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000

LOW WATER LEVEL LEADS TO FATALITY IN DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT

(July 24, 2000):

This past Saturday (July 22rd), Jeffrey David Warner, a commercially guided client on an Adrift Adventures river trip through Lodore Canyon on the Green River (Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado), died after his leg became entrapped in rocks. According to Pat Grediagin of the National Park Service and Robin Tierney of Adrift Adventures (based in Jensen, Utah), Warner's two-person inflatable kayak flipped as he and his long-term girlfriend were paddling through a rapid called Hells Half Mile. While Warner's partner was able to free herself and float down river, Warner himself stayed with the kayak, eventually becoming trapped and unable to release himself. Extrication efforts were begun quickly, but were abandoned when another float trip came down the river. When they attempted a rescue a second time rescuers were unable to reach Warner before he weakened and went under the water. Rescuers finally recovered his body six hour after the incident occurred.

According to Tierney, Hell's Half Mile, which normally flows as high as 2,000 cfs, was flowing at 1,200 cfs at the time of the accident. After the incident, the remaining trip participants proceeded down river to Echo Park where they were met by Adrift's owners - Pat and Robin Tierney, National Park Service personnel, and Moffat County (CO) Sheriff's Office personnel. Adrift took the trip off the river, paid for two nights lodging for all participants, and offered full refunds to everyone on the trip.

Adrift Adventures of Jensen, Utah has been providing wilderness whitewater rafting vacations in Utah, Colorado and Alaska since 1980. The company is a member-in-good-standing of America Outdoors, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, and the Utah Guides and Outfitter Association. To be clear, and to avoid any confusion, the company involved with this incident was Adrift Adventures based in Jensen, Utah and Half Moon Bay, CA (not Adrift Adventures based in Moab, Utah).