Kayaker from Grand Junction, Colorado dies after Fryingpan accident; victim identified
Update: The victim was recently identified as Jerry Young of Grand Junction by Eagle County Corner Kara Bettis.
A man died Sunday after he fell from an inflatable kayak on the Fryingpan River in Basalt, authorities said.
The Grand Junction resident and a friend had entered the river in the Seven Castles area of the Fryingpan Valley, according to Richard Cornelius, division chief with the Basalt Fire Department. The pair became separated, and one man called 911 after exiting the river in Basalt, Cornelius said.
Witnesses at a riverside restaurant in Basalt reportedly saw the victim’s unoccupied boat float past the restaurant, followed shortly afterward by the victim, Cornelius said. A group of bystanders near the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers pulled the victim from the water and tried unsuccessfully to revive him, Cornelius said. The Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue squad was notified en route to the scene that the victim had been pulled from the water, and it continued resuscitation efforts upon arrival, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, Cornelius said.
Cornelius said high water levels made the river dangerous not only for the boaters but for the bystanders who attempted the rescue, saying that the effort could have resulted in further loss of life.
“We’re very appreciative of the efforts of the bystanders, but we strongly advise people to use extreme caution,” he said.
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