66-year-old man dies while kayaking in the Dinosaur National Monument

DINOSAUR - A 66-year-old Craig man died while on a private kayaking trip with a friend in the Dinosaur National Monument sometime on Saturday, authorities say.

Sometime around 2 p.m., the man went under the water in an inflatable kayak on the Yampa River after hitting a rock in the Tepee Rapid.

The man, whose name won't be released until his family is told, capsized and never came back up. The person he was with had to kayak another 24 miles to get to the Hells Canyon Ranch to report what happened.

National monument staff weren't told until seven hours after the man went under.

Search and rescue efforts were promptly launched - and due to the remote area where he was believed to have gone under, rescue crews brought in a helicopter for their search that was already in the national monument fighting a wildland fire.

The man's body was found at 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, 3 miles from where he is believed to have gone under. His body was taken to the Moffat County Coroner. The Moffat County Sheriff's Office is assisting monument staff in this man's death investigation.

The Tepee Rapid is a class II+ rapid on the Yampa River in the Colorado portion of the Dinosaur National Monument. The water moves at 680 cubic feet a second meaning large rafts are not good - inflatable kayaks are the preferred way to travel.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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