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Old 07-06-2014   #1
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062
Rafter Dies on the Upper Blue

A 70-year-old Denver man was killed Sunday afternoon after a rafting accident in Summit County.

Around 1:15 p.m., nine people were thrown from a private raft floating on the Blue River, about 2 miles north of Silverthorne, said Charles Pitman, spokesman for the Summit County Rescue Group. The accident happened just north of where the river meets Boulder Creek.

The rescue crews found Charles Emery dead in the water downriver, shortly after the accident, according to the Summit County Office of the Coroner.

The coroner's office said that Emery was accidently ejected from the boat. Details about how the nine passengers were thrown into the water were not immediately available.

After finding the deceased rafter, rescue crews were alerted by one of the surviving boaters that there were several people missing. Rescue workers were initially concerned that only two or three of the rafters were accounted for, Pitman said.

The remaining passengers were rescued on opposite sides of the river for about a 6- to 7-mile stretch, Pitman said. One woman was rescued from an island in the middle of the river.

All of the passengers were located, Pitman said.

One of the boaters was taken to an area hospital an injury, but it was not clear how serious that rafter's injuries were, Pitman said.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office also assisted with the rescue.

I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 07-07-2014   #2
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
6-7 miles, that's a long swim.

I'm not familiar with that river, what is it like? What are the rapids like (class, close together, narrow canyon, etc).


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Old 07-07-2014   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
If the report is correct (there are some inconsistencies in the report above, and how far people were downstream from the accident), and they dumped right above Boulder Creek Rapid, then they were above a stretch that has about a quarter mile of fairly continuous Class III rapids with rocks, holes, hydraulics, and is a very cold and nasty swim.

The stretch of river is a beautiful alpine canyon with ice-cold water comming off the bottom of Lake Dillon; it's the coldest water I've ever been on that didn't have floating ice. Below Boulder Creek Rapid the intensity lets up for a bit, then picks up again further downstream. It's a great stretch of river with plenty of excitement, but not a good place for a swim, especially if one isn't dressed for it and relatively fit.

My condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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