Rescuers recover Gypsum man’s body from Colorado River after multi-day search
VAIL — The body of a 41-year-old Gypsum man who was reported missing on Monday, July 4, was recovered from the Colorado River around 2 p.m. Thursday after the third day of recovery efforts.
Ongoing efforts to positively identify the body, notify the family and determine a cause of death are being led by the Eagle County Coroner’s Office.
The man was reported as last seen struggling in the water around 5:30 p.m. Monday when he was attempting to cross the Colorado River. He was reported to have been struggling to stay afloat when he went underwater and did not surface again, according to witnesses.
A full rescue operation was launched shortly afterward on the Colorado River about 6 miles north of Dotsero. Search and recovery efforts over the last three days included trained swift water rescue technicians, specialized search K9s and a dive team who assisted to safely recover the body from the river.
In a news release, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office urged the community and river enthusiasts to stay safe and wear proper floatation devices when playing in and near the river at all times.
Recent flash flooding and fluctuating river levels are creating dangerous conditions. Current river conditions and turbidity can be fatal with heavy debris and fluctuating high water concerns. The sheriff’s office said it is important to be prepared, alert and familiar with proper safety equipment and how to rescue yourself and others.
If a river user’s life becomes in danger, call 911 immediately and do not put another’s life at risk to rescue when first responders are trained and equipped for these incidents.
Agencies involved in locating and retrieval of the man included the Gypsum Fire Protection District, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Eagle County Paramedics, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle County Coroner’s Office, the Summit County Water Rescue Team, and the Vail Public Safety Communications Center.
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