Body of rafter in Dinosaur National Monument recovered
The body of the 62-year-old rafter who went missing on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument on Friday was recovered Sunday, according to national park officials.
Sandra Wolder, of Aurora, was trapped underwater “in the roots of a large downed tree in the river,” according to a news release from the National Park Service. Her body was finally recovered at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
“Because of high water levels and the large number of obstacles in the river, retrieval required extensive safety precautions for the rescuers,” the release stated.
On Monday morning, the rescue team transported the victim by raft to Echo Park for transfer to the Moffat County Coroner.
Dinosaur National Monument spans across two states in the northwest corner of Colorado and near Vernal, Utah.
On Friday, search and rescue staff from the National Park Service, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and a commercial outfitter responded to a report of a missing rafter at Disaster Falls on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument.
A raft guided by Adrift Adventures, one of the commercial companies operating in the monument, flipped at about 5 p.m. Friday at Disaster Falls on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore.
“The Green River was flowing at approximately 8,600 cubic feet per second at the time of the incident,” the news release stated.
A group of approximately 20 people, including five guides, were on the rafting trip in multiple rafts at the time of the incident, said Dan Johnson, Dinosaur National Monument public information officer and chief of interpretation and visitor services.
All occupants made it to the shore except for Wolder. The raft was pinned to a rock in the river due to the force of the current.
The search and rescue team was mobilized at Gates of Lodore.
Disaster Falls has a class III to IV rating depending on river levels, according to the International Scale of River Difficulty and is located in a remote section of the Canyon of Lodore, approximately seven miles from the river launch at the Gates of Lodore.
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