Outfitters rescue girl from river | AspenTimes.com

Outfitters rescue girl from river

John Colson

A trio of outfitting wranglers yesterday averted what might have been a tragedy on the Crystal River when they rescued a young girl who had been stranded on a rock in the river after being dumped out of a boat.The men – Michael Lacey, Brian Richardson and Dan Brumbaugh – were finishing up their day at work at Out West Guides, a backcountry outfitting company located just outside the village of Marble, when a van came tearing into the driveway.”A man and a woman told us they had lost their kids,” said Richardson, 24. He said the woman, whose name he never heard, told him she and her husband had put their kids in a two-seater kayak to play around in a calm section of the Crystal River. The drama was believed to have started some distance upstream from Out West Guides.Apparently the river current grabbed the boat and the kids, an 11-year-old girl and her 14-year-old brother, headed downstream.The parents jumped into their van and followed, according to the tale told to the three men, but at some point lost sight of the boat and the kids. When they again came into view, the girl was stranded on a rock, wet and shivering, and neither the boat nor the little boy could be seen.Richardson said he and his two co-workers grabbed some gear and jumped into their trucks, tearing up Gunnison County Road 3 to the place where the parents had last seen the girl. As they arrived, the boy clambered up to the top of the riverbank by the road and waved them down, having apparently swum to shore after being dumped out of the boat.The three men scrambled their way down the steep, gravely embankment and Lacey, who had waders on, stepped into the river and walked out to the rock, which Richardson described as “about eight feet out.”Lacey, 24, said the water was not very deep and running swiftly, but that he had no trouble negotiating the current.”It wasn’t all that treacherous … a pretty small leap” through what he described as “maybe a Class 3 or Class 4 rapids.”He plucked the girl off the rock and headed back to shore, where he was helped out of the water by the other two men.”She was pretty traumatized, I think … she was pretty wide-eyed,” he recounted.Richardson said the mother, who also was “pretty shaken up,” took her daughter in her arms, thanked the men for their help and climbed into the van, which drove away. No names or other information were exchanged, and the trio of rescuers did not notice where the van was from.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.