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River
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Cause Code(s)
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Private/Commercial
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Accident Description


Denver man dies during river-rafting trip in Dinosaur National Monument

Canyon of Lodore, August 2013.
Provided by the National Park Service
Canyon of Lodore, August 2013.
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2017  
 

A 60-year-old man from Denver died Saturday from a “suspected cardiac event” on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument, according to the National Park Service.

Monument staff members received a call that CPR was in progress on a client of Sheri Griffith Expeditions shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, the park service wrote in a press statement, noting that the Moab, Utah-based Griffith Expeditions is an “authorized river concessionaire.”

The man has not been named pending family notification. He was in a two-person inflatable kayak that flipped in Winnie’s Rapid, a class II rapid along the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore in Moffat County.

Witnesses observed the man, who was on a multiday commercial trip, giving the standard “head pat” signal to indicate he was OK as he floated downstream, the park service wrote.

However, the man began showing signs of distress before he was pulled from the water and became unconscious. As CPR was administered, a river guide on site made an emergency satellite phone call for medial assistance. A medical helicopter from Vernal, Utah, landed below Winnie’s Rapid and assessed the victim, according to the press statement.

From there, the victim’s body was transported to Memorial Hospital in Craig and later to the Moffat County coroner. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

The man’s death follows a pair of river fatalities this month in the Upper Colorado River near Bond and the Gunnison River’s Escalante Canyon.

Dinosaur National Monument spans Colorado and Utah, with 210,000 acres of dinosaur quarry and preserved fossils, as well as canyons along the Yampa and Green rivers that attract whitewater rafters from around the world.

Colorado Man Dies On Dinosaur National Monument River Trip

 

 

A Colorado man who initially appeared OK after flipping an inflatable kayak on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument later died, possibly of a cardiac event.

Park officials said Sunday that the 60-year-old man was on a multi-day commercial river trip through the Canyon of Lodore when he capsized his kayak around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Monument staff received a call shortly after the incident that CPR was in progress on a client with Sheri Griffith Expeditions, an authorized river concessionaire based out of Moab, Utah. The client was in a two-person inflatable kayak that flipped in Winnie’s Rapid, causing him to enter the water. Witnesses observed him giving the “head pat” signal to indicate he was okay as he continued to float downstream, a park release said Sunday.

"Before he was retrieved from the water, he showed signs of distress and became unconscious. He was pulled from the water and CPR was initiated," the release added. "A river guide on scene made an emergency call by satellite phone to request medical assistance. A Classic Air Medical helicopter from Vernal, Utah, was able to land on site below Winnie’s Rapid," but the man could not be revived.

The victim’s body was transported to the Memorial Hospital at Craig, Colorado and later transferred to the Moffat County coroner. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death. The name of the victim was withheld until the family has been notified.

Winnie’s Rapid is a class II rapid located on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore in the Colorado portion of the national monument. It is approximately 3.5 river miles downstream of the Gates of Lodore boat launch near the monument’s northern boundary. Flow rates for the Canyon of Lodore section of the Green River, which are influenced by the water release at Flaming Gorge Dam, were averaging 8,600 cubic feet per second.

 

Member of Commercial River Trip dies near Winnie's Rapid in Canyon of Lodore

Courtesy Sonya Popelka Dinosaur National Monument Jun 20, 2017 Updated Jun 20, 2017

A 60-year-old man from Denver, Colorado died June 10 from a suspected cardiac event while on a multi-day commercial trip on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument.

Shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, monument staff received a call that CPR was in progress on a client with Sheri Griffith Expeditions, an authorized river concessionaire based out of Moab. The client was in a two person inflatable kayak that flipped in Winnie’s Rapid, causing him to enter the water. Witnesses observed him giving the “head pat” signal to indicate he was okay as he continued to float downstream.

Before he was retrieved from the water, he showed signs of distress and became unconscious. He was pulled from the water and CPR was initiated. A river guide on scene made an emergency call by satellite phone to request medical assistance. A Classic Air Medical helicopter from Vernal, was able to land on site below Winnie’s Rapid and asses the victim. The victim’s body was transported to the Memorial Hospital at Craig, Colorado and later transferred to the Moffat County coroner. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death. The name of the victim is being withheld until the family has been notified.     

Additional background information:

Winnie’s Rapid is a class II rapid located on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore in the Colorado portion (Moffat County) of Dinosaur National Monument. It is approximately 3.5 river miles downstream of the Gates of Lodore boat launch near the monument’s northern boundary. Flow rates for the Canyon of Lodore section of the Green River are influenced by the water release at Flaming Gorge Dam, currently averaging 8600 cubic feet per second.

Dinosaur National Monument consists of over 210, 000 acres in both Colorado and Utah. While the monument is best known for the dinosaur quarry and the fossils preserved there, the monument also contains spectacular canyons along the Green and Yampa rivers. These rivers are famous among whitewater rafters who travel here from across the globe to raft them.