Summit County man dies in rafting accident near Buena Vista | SummitDaily.com

Summit County man dies in rafting accident near Buena Vista

Summit Daily staff report

A Summit County man has been reported dead Monday after a rafting accident in Chaffee County.

The Chafee County Sheriff's Office announced that 46-year-old Christian Sheetz died while rafting the Pine Creek Rapids on the Arkansas River, 13 miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado.

The sheriff's office reported receiving a distress call about a raft capsizing on Monday afternoon. A witness reported seeing Sheetz and his wife enter the Arkansas River at the Clear Creek confluence on a private raft before capsizing a short distance downriver. Sheetz's wife managed to swim to shore safely, however Sheetz was seen to continue downriver.

A large-scale search was initiated by members of the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office, Chaffee Fire, Chaffee County EMS, Chaffee County Search and Rescue North and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Sheetz's body was located four hours after the search began. The Chafee County coroner pronounced Sheetz dead at the scene and took possession of his body.

Details about the Sheetz's cause of death and hometown information were not immediately available.

The Pine Creek Rapids are classified as Class 4 to 5 whitewater rapids, making it a significantly challenging stretch of river for rafters to navigate.