June 19, 2023
CPW investigating fatal commercial boat accident in the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River
CANON CITY, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is investigating after a man died Monday during a three-boat commercial trip in the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River.
Around 1:30 p.m., Monday, several passengers fell out of a boat as it entered the Boat Eater Rapid just past the Royal Gorge Bridge. All the passengers were rescued from the water by other boats on the trip.
One of the rescued passengers, a 60-year-old man, was unresponsive after he was pulled out of the water. A guide immediately pulled the boat to shore and began CPR while another guide retrieved a heart defibrillator stationed along the river banks.
They performed CPR until an emergency vehicle traveling by railroad tracks arrived and transported the victim out of the gorge.
CPR continued but the victim was pronounced dead by responding emergency medical personnel.
Besides CPW rangers from the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA), agencies responding to the call for help included the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, American Medical Response Cañon City and the Cañon City Fire Department.
“We extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the victim,” said Tom Waters, AHRA park manager, noting the victim was wearing a properly sized and fitted personal flotation device as well as a helmet.
The body was turned over to the Fremont County Coroner to make identification, an official determination of the cause of death and notification of relatives. Any further information about the victim will be released by the coroner.
This death is the 12th confirmed water-related death in Colorado in 2023.
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