Man dies while river rafting in Royal Gorge

Colorado authorities on Tuesday were investigating a fatal commercial rafting incident that left a 60-year-old man dead along the Arkansas River in the Royal Gorge south of Canon City.

The river has been running fast and high. Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, several passengers on a trip through the gorge fell out of a raft as it entered the Boat Eater Rapid just below the Royal Gorge Bridge, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials. All of them were pulled out of the river by people on other rafts.

The man was unresponsive, CPW officials said. A guide immediately pulled the raft he was on to a river bank and tried to resuscitate him while another guide retrieved a heart defibrillator positioned along the river. An emergency vehicle traveling along adjacent railroad tracks carried the man out of the gorge. Emergency responders pronounced him dead.

This was the 12th confirmed water-related death in Colorado in 2023, officials said. The victim was wearing a flotation vest and a helmet, they said.

The identity of the victim wasn’t released. “We extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the victim,” Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area manager Tom Waters said in a news release.

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