Identity released of Craig kayaker who died after hitting rock on Yampa River |

Identity released of Craig kayaker who died after hitting rock on Yampa River

Craig Daily Press
The Yampa River as seen from the Yampa Bench Road in Dinosaur National Monument.
Scott Franz/File

DINOSAUR –  On Tuesday, authorities officially released the name of the Craig man who perished in a weekend kayak accident.

Craig’s Michael Brinks, 66, died this weekend while on a two-person private trip using inflatable kayaks on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument.

Release of Brinks’ name was delayed until family was notified.

Based on preliminary reports, at approximately 2 p. m. Saturday, Brinks hit a rock in Tepee Rapid, capsized, and never resurfaced. He was wearing a personal flotation device. The reporting party kayaked 24 miles downstream to Hells Canyon Ranch to report the incident. Monument staff were contacted just before 9 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue efforts were launched Sunday morning.

Due to the remote location of the incident, and low water levels along the Yampa River, monument staff used a helicopter to aid in the response. A contracted helicopter from PJ Helicopters of Red Bluff, California, and the Mesa Verde National Park Helitack Crew were already on-site in the monument for a wildland fire assignment.

At 11:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, Brinks’ body was located approximately three miles downstream from the point last seen. The body was recovered from the river and transported to the Moffat County Coroner. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department is a partner in the investigation.

The Craig Daily Press will have a larger story about Brinks later this week.

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