CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — A body was pulled from the water Monday following the search for a teenage boy whose canoe had capsized two days earlier. Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed the body was handed over to the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office.
The coroner will make a formal identification of the victim and ultimately determine a cause and manner of death.
The boy and a friend were tossed into Clear Creek Reservoir following a day of duck hunting Saturday, according to CPW.
CPW Rangers were the first to respond to the 5 p.m. 9-1-1 call.
According to their account, the father of one of the boys arrived at the same time as rangers and attempted to swim out to the canoe. He reached one of the boys, but struggled to return to shore while swimming against 20 mph winds in the 33 degree water.
CPW Officers Kevin Madler and Zach Baker entered the water to save both the man and boy, CPW stated in a press release. But they were unable to locate the other boy.
Other searchers arrived soon after. First in were CPW River Rangers from the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) and Lake Pueblo State Park (LPSP). They used jet skis and a rescue boat and searched the water in a criss-cross pattern using sonar equipment until about 4 a.m. Sunday.
Sunday, CPW’s Marine Evidence Recovery Team (MERT) from Littleton took part using an underwater drone equipped with sonar, lights and video camera.
Monday, the MERT unit located the remains at about 12:30 p.m. in water 25 feet deep and about 270 yards off shore.
Divers from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team recovered the body.
Clear Creek Reservoir is a 407-acre lake located 15 miles north of Buena Vista.
“We offer our condolences to the family of this young man,” said Jim Aragon, CPW Area Wildlife Manager for the region. “We hate seeing a life lost so tragically. This was a terrible accident.”
Aragon also thanked all the members of the Buena Vista community who rallied around the family of the missing youth and provided food and support to the first responders.