66-year-old man dies kayaking on Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument
July 16, 2017
DINOSAUR – A 66-year-old man from Craig died over the weekend while on a two-person private trip using inflatable kayaks on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument, according to law enforcement officials.
Release of the deceased’s name is pending family notification by the coroner’s office. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department is a partner in the investigation.
Based on preliminary reports, at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday the kayaker hit a rock in Tepee Rapid, capsized and never resurfaced. He was wearing a personal flotation device, according Moffat County officials. 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.