News Release

Visitor Fatality along Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park

A calm, green river with rocky cliffs on either side, and a sandy beach in the foreground. USGS photo.
Colorado River Mile Mile 136.5 - looking upriver toward the Little Granite Gorge from along the Deer Creek Trail. USGS File Photo

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: September 5, 2019

Contact: Lily Daniels, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, AZ- Grand Canyon National Park rangers responded to an emergency call of assistance for a 77-year-old man on a river trip Sept. 3, 2019, below Deer Creek Falls on the Colorado River.

Responding rangers arrived at River Mile 136, and took over resuscitation efforts from on-scene personnel. Rescue personnel were unable to resuscitate Kenneth Reece of Tasmania, Australia. 

The rescue team recovered the body with the park’s helicopter and transferred it to the Coconino County Medical Examiner. 

Reece was swimming in the vicinity of the falls and was recovered from the water by other river trip members who initiated CPR. Park rangers and the Coconino County Medical Examiner Office are cooperating in an investigation of his death. No additional information is available at this time.

Grand Canyon National Park would like to remind visitors that swimming in the Colorado River is very different from swimming in pools. The water can change in depth unexpectedly, going from shallow to deep in just a few steps, and it can have swift, strong currents, waterfalls, cold temperatures, and underwater hazards such as trees and boulders. Even the strongest swimmers can be overcome by these conditions.


Last updated: September 5, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



Contact Us