A 66 year old man from Craig, CO, died yesterday 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 2:00 pm 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 9:00 pm 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, CA and the Mesa Verde National Park Helitack Crew were already on-site in the monument for a wildland fire assignment.
At 11:40 am on Sunday morning, the kayaker’s body was located approximately 3 miles downstream from the point last seen.