DINOSAUR, Colo. (CBS4) – The body of a missing rafter who drowned on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument on Saturday has been recovered.
The body was recovered by search and rescue staff from Dinosaur National Monument, the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife near Triplet Falls in a remote area.
According to Dan Johnson with Dinosaur National Monument, the 34-year-old man from Denver was on a 16-member private rafting trip when a raft carrying four people flipped near Triplet Falls.
“After running the rapid, four members of the party hiked back upstream to run a section of the rapid known as the Birth Canal with a 9-foot paddle raft. The group made it through the Birth Canal, but hit a rock shortly below, and the raft flipped, dumping all four occupants into the river,” Johnson said in a statement.
Three rafters were able to get to shore but the Denver man was briefly spotted below the Birth Canal and then disappeared.
“Members of the group reported that he appeared to be stuck. The rafting party observed that his personal flotation device and one shoe popped to the surface where he was last seen,” Johnson said.
The group searched for the man for several hours but then continued downstream to find help. The had to stop for the night at the Rippling Brook campsite and then continued Sunday morning and notified a ranger at the Echo Park Ranger Station of the incident.
A response team left for Triplet Falls Sunday evening but couldn’t begin recovery efforts until Monday morning.
The victim’s body was located and recovered at approximately 12:30 p.m. and was being transported to Echo Park by raft.
The victim’s name hasn’t been released.
“The staff at Dinosaur National Monument expresses their condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” Johnson said.
Additional Information From Dinosaur National Monument
Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located in a remote portion of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the monument’s northern boundary. The area is surrounded by steep canyon walls rising 1,200 feet and higher above the river. There is no cell service in that portion of the monument. River flow was approximately 1,670 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the time of the incident.