Man dies in kayaking accident on Yampa River
July 17, 2017
DINOSAUR – A 66-year-old man from Craig died this weekend while on a two-person private trip using inflatable kayaks on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. Release of the deceased’s name is pending family notification.
Based on preliminary reports, at approximately 2 p. m. on Saturday, July 15, the kayaker hit a rock in Tepee Rapid, capsized, and never resurfaced. He was wearing a personal flotation device. The reporting party kayaked 24 miles downstream to Hells Canyon Ranch to report the incident. Monument staff were contacted just before 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. Search and rescue efforts were launched Sunday morning.
Due to the remote location of the incident, and low water levels along the Yampa River, monument staff used a helicopter to aid in the response. A contracted helicopter from PJ Helicopters of Red Bluff, California, and the Mesa Verde National Park Helitack Crew were already on-site in the monument for a wildland fire assignment.
At 11:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, the kayaker’s body was located approximately 3 miles downstream from the point last seen. The body was recovered from the river and transported to the Moffat County Coroner. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department is a partner in the investigation.