Kayaker Dies in Dinosaur National Monument

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.

Tepee Rapids in the Yampa River Canyon

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.
[NPS Story]


Explosion on Houseboat Kills one in Glen Canyon

At approximately 10 p.m. on July 12 an explosion occurred on a privately owned houseboat that was anchored on shore in Crystal Springs Canyon, in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Crystal Springs Canyon is located on Lake Powell, two canyons north of Halls Crossing, near buoy marker 104, in San Juan County, Utah.

There was one fatality of a 52 year old female, Kirsten Meyer, of Castle Rock, Colorado. One juvenile male sustained minor injuries and was transported by vessel to the Bullfrog Clinic for treatment and was released. Four other people sustained critical injuries and were transported by air to Salt Lake City, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado. Critical injuries included burns, broken bones, and facial injuries. Three helicopters and one fixed wing were provided by Classic Aviation. There were twenty other people associated with this boating group. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. It was reported they were attempting to start a house boat generator when it suddenly exploded.
[NPS Story]

Timothy Conant, Kayak Guide, Dies While Rescuing Client

A 23-year-old kayak guide, Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant from Salt Lake City, Utah, died while attempting to rescue a client who capsized on Wednesday, June 14. The incident occurred in the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake. The kayaking group consisted of nine clients and three guides.

After receiving a call through the park’s dispatch center, rangers responded to the scene in a patrol boat and found Mr. Conant in the water. They brought him on board and immediately started CPR while in route back to the dock. CPR continued as Mr. Conant was transported to the helipad at Grant Village via ambulance (approximately ½-mile from the dock). A Life Flight landed to assist, but Mr. Conant was pronounced dead before taking off.

The client, who Mr. Conant attempted to save, was rescued by other guides in the group and brought to shore before rangers arrived on scene to help Mr. Conant. The client was transported to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia.
[NPS Story]

Yellowstone Lake is  the largest natural freshwater lake in the United States that is above 7,000 feet. Its waters remain cool throughout the year, so hypothermia is a constant threat.

Fatality on Colorado River

At approximately 12 pm on Sunday, April 23, Grand Canyon National Park was alerted to a personal locator beacon activation near Hance Rapid on the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center then received a satellite phone call from a private boating trip in the same location reporting CPR in progress.

Jimmie Blair, 69, of New Meadows, Idaho, entered the river above Hance Rapid, Colorado River Mile 77. Members of the party pulled him out of the water and began CPR. Park rangers were flown into the location with the park helicopter. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Blair was on day nine of a multi-day private boating trip.

NPS Story

Missing Boater on Buffalo National River in Arkansas

At approximately 11 am today (4/26) notification was received by Buffalo National River dispatch two persons were in danger in the park’s Upper District, specifically near Kyles Landing in Newton County (between Ponca and Pruitt). One was reported safe on an upstream island, but without means of reaching either shore. The other was in the river downstream from Kyles Landing. Subsequent to this report National Park Service rangers responded to the area and conducted a “hasty” search by land on both sides of the river to quickly attempt to locate these individuals. Observers reported debris, including a cooler, and a PFD (personal flotation devise), floating downstream from what was likely the site of a canoe capsize. Neither party has been contacted thus far. [NPS Story]

UPDATE: later on 4/26

Shortly after 3 pm the individual upstream from Kyles Landing was located on a small island, as reported, and apart from being cold was in good condition. The search for the other individual continued until about 6 pm and will resume tomorrow morning.

The incident occurred when a group of four men in four canoes decided to tackle the flood waters this morning above Kyles. Two canoes managed to traverse the distance safely but two overturned. The missing individual was last reported in the water across from the launch site at Kyles and has not been seen since. [NPS Story]

UPDATE: April 28

The search for the person whose canoe capsized in the Buffalo River Wednesday is winding down for the third day without discovery. Based on the forecast of flood conditions, the operation will be suspended until river conditions become safe again.  [NPS Story]

UPDATE: April 29

Although the water levels had dropped somewhat overnight, search efforts today (Saturday) were restricted to crews in two boats looking at river banks and shallows again today. The onset of very heavy rains, thunder, and dense fog brought those two boats off the river by 2:30pm today [NPS Story]

Update: May 6:

The body of the missing canoeist was found today at about 11 am by a Hasty Volunteer Fire Department boat searcher.. This individual was last reported by an observer at Kyles Landing in Newton County, immediately prompting an intensive search effort. Since last Saturday the search was limited to one or two boats looking between Kyles and Erbie Campground. The body was ultimately recovered approximately five miles downstream from Kyles. [NPS Story]