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Contact: Sonya Popelka, 970.629.8488
UPDATE: The deceased has been identified as Anthony Vasi of Newport Beach, California.
CORRECTION: Witnesses report that the raft did not flip, as previously reported, but it did get stuck on a rock, ejecting Vasi and others into the water. Contrary to initial reports, Vasi did not go below the surface for ten minutes, but rather remained above water and was responsive. He became unresponsive as he was being moved from behind the rock into the main current by a rescue swimmer. Original text of news release is below.
Dinosaur, Colorado and Jensen, Utah – The body of a California man, aged 47, has been recovered from the scene of a rafting accident in Triplet Falls on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. The rafter was part of a group that included family and friends on a commercial rafting trip.
Dinosaur National Monument received notification via satellite text message at 12:40 pm on Saturday, July 6, 2019 that a boat flipped in the Green River at Triplet Falls, resulting in an injured male who was reported to be unconscious. The rafter was underwater for about 10 minutes. CPR was performed for approximately 90 minutes. Classic Air Medical arrived on the scene to assess the rafter, found him unresponsive, and declared him deceased. They then transported the victim by helicopter to the Ashley Regional Medical Center in Vernal, Utah.
National Park Service staff from Dinosaur National Monument, along with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, were in the process of launching a rescue effort by raft from the Gates of Lodore when Classic Air Medical arrived at Triplet Falls and found the rafter deceased. The rescue team will continue to travel by raft to the scene of the incident, will conduct a National Park Service-led investigation, and will assist those from the boating party remaining on the river in reaching a location where they can take out.
Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located along the Green River in a remote portion of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the monument’s northern boundary near Gates of Lodore. The area is surrounded by steep canyon walls rising 1,200 feet and higher above the river. There is no cell service in that portion of the monument. River flow was approximately 2,350 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the time of the incident.
Last updated: July 7, 2019