A 61-year-old man from New York died Saturday morning after falling into the Animas River near Santa Rita Park while whitewater rafting.
The Durango Police Department and Durango Fire Protection District responded to the incident, and could release only preliminary information Saturday afternoon. Durango Fire crews also responded to a second, female patient who was in stable condition and transported by emergency responders from Santa Rita Park, said Randy Black, Durango Fire deputy chief.
The man and woman were rafting near the Santa Rita Whitewater Park in a raft with two others and a rafting guide, said Cmdr. Jacob Dunlop with DPD. It was not immediately clear what guiding service was leading the trip, or if the man and woman entered the water upriver or downriver from the whitewater park.
While DFPD transported the woman from Santa Rita Park, emergency responders located the man further downstream near Nature’s Oasis.
Two Durango police officers arrived on scene first and took over CPR from the river guide, Dunlop said.
DFPD was first dispatched to Santa Rita Park, but the patient was not there, Black said. When DFPD crews found the officers and patient, they took over care and transferred the patient into the ambulance and to the hospital with CPR in progress.
Further details are not available at this time, the authorities said.
The Animas was flowing at 2,740 cubic feet per second Saturday morning. The average historic speed for June 6 is 3,070 cubic feet per second, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The incident occurred after Colorado lifted restrictions on outdoor recreation tours Thursday, originally issued in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.