The Gunnison River Claims Two Lives
Two women died on the Gunnison River Friday.
Local authorities have been warning of the danger for weeks. Colorado rivers are moving fast and more treacherous then they've been in years. So far this spring five people have died on Colorado waterways. Two women lost their lives in two separate incidents on Friday.
Officials wanted us to repeat the warning, if you plan to float, raft, or kayak, on Colorado’s rivers please use extreme caution. A reminder too, these heavy flow conditions are expected to continue through most of the summer. As expected, this year's record-setting snowpack is melting rapidly and rivers are flowing at levels not seen in several years. Several inches of snow fell in the higher elevations over the weekend so we're a long way from this being over.
Friday's first reported accident on the Gunnison River was apparently a woman paddle boarding when she hit swift flowing water just west of the town of Gunnison. The local Sheriff's Office reported, "Shortly after entering the river the 31-year-old female lost control of her board and later got hung up on a tree that was in the water.” She was rescued from the water and transported to a Grand Junction area hospital before succumbing to her injuries. Her identity had not been released at the time of this posting.
Later on Friday, a 65-year-old woman was kayaking on the Gunnison River near Colorado 149 when she was killed in an accident. She was pulled from the water and lifesaving efforts were administered but to no avail.
The fact is, it's a different ballgame out there now. It's much different than anything we've seen in years. If you're hitting the river, make sure your skillset can match the conditions. Have all your safety equipment, and never hit the river alone. Also, let someone know of your whereabouts and excepted time of return.
Credit: The Colorado Sun