June 27, 2016
Contact: Dan Johnson
, (435) 781-7702 or (970) 629-3813
Dinosaur, Colorado –Search and rescue staff recovered the body matching the description of a rafter missing since Friday evening. Sandra (Sandy) Wolder, age 62, of Aurora, Colorado was an apparent drowning victim at Upper Disaster Falls on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore within Dinosaur National Monument.
At approximately 7:30 pm on Sunday, June 26, 2016, search and rescue team members were able to retrieve the victim's body which was trapped underwater in the roots of a large downed tree in the river. Because of high water levels and the large number of obstacles in the river, retrieval required extensive safety precautions for the rescuers. On Monday morning, June 27, 2016, the rescue team transported the victim by raft to Echo Park for transfer to the Moffat County Coroner.
The search and rescue team consisted of three rafts with two Moffat County Sheriff's Office staff, four Dinosaur National Monument Rangers and one commercial guide from Dinosaur River Expeditions.
"I would like to thank our many great partners that have helped during this very difficult time," stated Monument Superintendent, Mark Foust, "Specifically, the search and rescue technicians from the Moffat County Sheriff's Department, Dinosaur River Expeditions, Classic Air Medical Helicopter, and the river rangers at the monument.We are thankful for their expertise, dedication, and professionalism."
"While the rivers and canyons in Dinosaur National Monument are truly spectacular, we are reminded about the risks associated with exploring this incredible place. People from all over the world are drawn to their beauty and wildness. We encourage all visitors to learn about and be prepared for the risks associated with the activities they pursue."
"Again, the staff at Dinosaur National Monument would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sandy Wolder, as well as the rest of the members of her rafting group."