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Man Who Died On Clear Creek May Have Suffered Medical Condition

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IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A man died after falling out of his raft on Clear Creek on Saturday. Others tried to save him but were unsuccessful.

The incident happened on the creek off Highway 6 near Idaho Springs and rough water was not to blame for the man’s death.

The man has been identified as Kenneth Barkley, 41, from Brighton.

“I think the important thing is we were able to determine that his raft did not overturn,” a police officer said.

Barkley had rented a raft in Idaho Springs. Based on all accounts he may have had a medical issue that caused him to fall out. David Costlow is the executive director of the Colorado River Outfitters Association. He learned that Barkley was sitting in the back of the raft.

“After hitting the water, did not appear to be trying to self-rescue or have any swimming strokes of any kind. So was somewhat motionless,” Costlow said.

Barkley was with his wife and teenage daughter. The rafting company had no comment but Cosla said his guide had three years of experience. It is not easy to retrieve someone who falls out of a raft and is motionless.

“He was maybe a half a mile, two miles before he was able to be pulled from the water. You know it makes it difficult when you can’t throw a throw rope and have someone grab it,” Costlow said.

Costlow said that it took about 20 minutes to retrieve Barkley’s body.

The official cause of death could be released on Monday.

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