Accident Database

Report ID# 852

  • Health Problem
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Solo Paddling

Accident Description

On June 9th Les Normandin, 53, was found floating face-down in a pushy Class III section of the Crystal River upstream of Carbondale, Colorado. According to the Aspen Times he was wearing a helmet and booties, but no PFD. Sheriff's deputies found a PFD in his truck at the takeout.

Jake Menke is a local paddler who helped with the shuttle on his way to a hike. He said that Mr. Normandin paddled regularly with his father when both men were in their 20's. Although the man hadn't been boating for over 25 years, he ran the river successfully the previous day and had no qualms about another solo run. The coroner told his sister that Mr. Normandin died of a massive heart attack. That, rather than the fact that he was a solo paddler without a PFD, was the cause of death.

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