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Wed, Dec. 02

Man dies in boat accident

A 45-year-old Colorado man died in a boating accident at Hance Rapid on the Colorado River on Sunday, March 16.

At about 4 p.m., Randall Johnson of Grand Junction, Colo., flipped his boat in Hance Rapid at river mile 77. He was in the water for several minutes before being pulled out by others in his party. Although they began CPR immediately, efforts to save him were not successful.

He had been on a 21-day private river trip that had launched from Lees Ferry on Monday, March 10. The river flow was approximately 11,000 cfs, five days after the end of the 41,000 cfs high flow experiment.

Though rangers received the report of the accident the day it happened, they were unable to reach the river party due to bad weather and rugged terrain. Instead, the trip continued downriver, where they were met by park rangers at Phantom Ranch on Monday, March 17.

The body was flown out from there and transported to the county medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

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