This is the latest, best available information I could find about the drowning on the Royal Gorge on May 18. I'm not editing the news report, which does refer to the rafting company. I've no doubt they followed proper procedures and did all they could.
Condolences again to family and friends.
Boulder man dies in gorge
by Jason Starr
Mail Staff Writer
The Arkansas River whitewater run through the Royal Gorge claimed the life of a Boulder man Saturday when the commercial raft he was in flipped.
Charles H. Bointy, 52, drowned after the raft capsized in a rapid known as "wall banger." He was among six passengers on the guided trip, and his death was the first rafting death on the Arkansas River this season.
Fremont County Coroner Dorothy Twellman said Bointy had a heart condition which contributed to the drowning.
"You don't have the breath and muscle energy to keep fighting quite as well," she explained.
Bointy was on a trip with River Runners of Buena Vista accompanying co-workers from a nursing home in Boulder.
Two of the five survivors are nurses and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Bointy for 45 minutes beside the river before Fremont County Sheriff's Deputies and Caņon City Fire and Rescue personnel arrived.
Twellman said Bointy was swept about 400 yards downriver after the boat flipped. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The river was flowing about 2,140 cubic feet per second through the Royal Gorge Saturday.
Wall banger rapid is named because rafts often contact the canyon wall there.
"Frequently rafts do bang up against the rock wall and this one did," Twellman said. "I don't know why this raft turned over and most of them don't."
Colorado River Outfitters Association is investigating the incident to ensure all safety procedures were followed.
Spokeswoman Julia Schneider said River Runners "are a very reputable outfitter. We're confident our internal investigation will show they adhered to every procedure."
The association keeps track of fatalities among guests of outfitters in Colorado. One person died rafting the Arkansas last year, Schneider said.
"Guests need to keep in mind the river is unpredictable and there are risks in rafting," she said. "But the likelihood of an incident is rare, especially with a licensed outfitter."
She continued, "The river community in Colorado definitely takes this seriously and is always saddened when there is a loss like this ... . Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family."
"self-aggrandizing jackass" - it says it right on the label