Paddle boarder dead after being swept down Arkansas River in Buena Vista
BUENA VISTA — A man who was paddle boarding on Colorado’s Arkansas River is dead after being swept away in the swift water.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office says 40-year-old Michael Robert James of Boulder fell off his paddle board in Buena Vista’s river park and was unable to get back on Saturday. Other boaters tried to rescue him both initially and downstream but weren’t able to because of the fast-moving water. The office said one boater accompanied James to the shore at a rafting outfitter about an hour and a half later. Emergency crews and others helped pull him out but James was already dead.
He is at least the eighth person to die this year in Colorado’s rivers, which are running high as plentiful snow melts out of the mountains.
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A speeding car on Tuesday morning crashed into and destroyed part of the winter closure gate on Maroon Creek Road.