Accident Database

Report ID# 9143


Accident Description

Woman dies in rafting accident

on Upper Colorado River


June 5, 2017

On Monday, right before 4 p.m., first responders from Eagle and Grand counties responded to reports of boats and people that were pinned in the Boneyard Rapid between Yarmony and Rancho del Rio on the Upper Colorado River.

The boaters were a large private group from the Edwards area with several boats and kayaks in their group. As the group approached the Boneyard Rapid, one boat became high centered on an already abandoned raft that was pinned on a rock. As the occupants of the boat began to swim out of the rapid, one female in the group became trapped.

Emergency responders from the Eagle and Grand counties quickly arrived on scene with resources and volunteers to assist witnesses and boaters with recovery efforts. By 5 p.m., a female in her early 30s was recovered from the river and was not responsive to CPR efforts.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office wants to urgently remind the community and river enthusiasts to stay safe when playing in and near the river. Spring and summer bring warmer temperatures, snowmelt, runoff and high water in mountain streams and rivers. The dangers of high-water runoff can be fatal, as debris and river conditions change daily. It is important to be prepared, alert and familiar with proper safety equipment and how to rescue yourself and others when recreating in high-water areas.

Woman Dies In Rafting Accident

June 5, 2017

CBS Denver

RANCHO DEL RIO, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman in her early 30’s drowned in a rafting accident Monday afternoon on the Upper Colorado River. A spokesperson with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the fatal incident occurred just before 4 p.m. in an area of the river bordering Eagle and Grand counties. Both counties sent rescuers to the scene.

The incident took place in a section of river called “Boneyard Rapid.” The woman was part of a large private group in several rafts and kayaks. The craft the woman riding in became high-centered on an already abandoned raft that was pinned on a rock.  That abandoned raft had been there “for several days,” according to Eagle County’s Amber Barrett.

The collision forced the woman’s raft to fold or “taco,” in rafting terminology. The people on board the raft were able to safely swim ashore, but once there realized a member of their party was missing. Once rescuers arrived, the abandoned raft was dislodged from the rock. In turn, the second raft also was freed. The woman’s body surfaced shortly after.

She did not respond to efforts to revive her.Barrett says the woman was wearing a flotation device, but it was described by officials as “inadequate.” Specific details were not available. It was also not known if she drowned inside the compromised raft or in the water underneath it.

The second raft was pinned in place for an hour. The woman’s identity will be released by the Eagle County Coroner. She was reportedly from Edwards, Colorado.

There's been a fiberglass drift boat pinned on river left, 3/4 thru a rapid most people around here know as graveyard or boneyard. It's the last little rapid in the Red Canyon (Yarmony Canyon). Top of the straight-away above the Benches Campgrounds. The victim was on a raft that hit the drift boat, was ejected, and was pinned between the drift boat and the rocks, entangled in the raft's un-coiled bow line.


Woman dies in boating accident on Upper Colorado River in Eagle County; Victim was with group from the Edwards area.

June 5, 2017 at 9:24 pm

A woman died in a boating accident Monday on the Upper Colorado River in Eagle County.

The accident happened just before 4 p.m. in a section of water called the “boneyard rapid,” which is between Yearmony and Rancho Del Rio, according to the sheriff’s office.

Emergency workers from Eagle and Grand counties responded after a boat became high-centered on an abandoned raft that was pinned on a rock. Some people in the boat swam out of the rapids but a woman, in her early-30s became trapped, the sheriff’s office said.

The victim was on the river with a large group of boaters and kayakers from the Edwards area.

Emergency responders, boaters and witnesses recovered the victim at about 5 p.m., she was not responsive to CPR efforts.


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