Kayaker’s body found in the Crystal River | AspenTimes.com
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Kayaker’s body found in the Crystal River

Janet Urquhart

An unidentified man was killed Wednesday while kayaking in the Crystal River south of Carbondale.Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Scott Thompson was working yesterday to identify the body, described only as a white male, and to determine the cause of death. Rescue teams pulled the body from the water about a mile downstream from the BRB Crystal River Resort campground.The sheriff’s office received a report of a body floating in the river near the campground at 12:14 p.m., according to Joe DiSalvo, director of investigations and the incident commander during yesterday’s recovery effort. Someone traveling on Highway 133 adjacent to the river spotted the body and dialed 911 from the campground.The body was pulled from an eddy around 2 p.m. A one-person kayak was found about a mile upstream, or south, of the campground, he said.”He was clearly a kayaker,” DiSalvo said. The man was wearing a helmet, goggles and booties. He was also wearing a life jacket, but DiSalvo said he wasn’t sure whether rescuers had put the flotation device on the body. There was no evidence that he was kayaking with companions, DiSalvo said.About 37 rescuers responded to the scene, including members of the county’s Incident Management Group, which happened to be in Carbondale for wildfire training. The Carbondale and Basalt swift-water rescue teams and Carbondale Fire Department also responded.Seven swimmers searched the water; other people searched from along the banks of the river while some kept watch from bridges all the way down to the Crystal’s confluence with the Roaring Fork River in Carbondale.The river, swollen with spring runoff, was running at 1,390 cubic feet per second yesterday, according to Colorado Canoe & Kayak in Glenwood Springs.”I wouldn’t want to be in it, but it certainly wasn’t deafening, as fast as it was moving,” DiSalvo said.A popular kayaking stretch of the Crystal, from Avalanche Creek to the BRB, is a rated as a Class 3 rapid by the guidebook “Colorado Rivers and Creeks.”Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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