EAGLE COUNTY, CO – A large search and rescue effort is underway on the Colorado River after a distressing incident led to one man being hospitalized and another still missing.
According to a Facebook post by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department, they received a call on July 23rd about 10 – 15 individuals in the water near mile marker 6 on the Colorado River Road, attempting to rescue someone from the river.
Upon arrival, the rescue teams found one man who had been pulled from the water and resuscitated. He was immediately transferred to a local hospital. However, another individual was swept further downstream, prompting an ongoing search.
As of July 24th, the search for the second man, who was last seen wearing blue shorts, shoes, and no shirt, continues. Vail Mountain Rescue, Gypsum Fire Protection District, and Greater Eagle Fire Protection District are spearheading the efforts, urging locals to be aware of the search teams and to slow down when passing the area.
Multiple agencies were involved in the response to this incident, including the Vail Public Safety Communications Center, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Eagle Fire Protection District, and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
This tragic incident underscores the importance of supporting search and rescue operations in Colorado. The community is encouraged to consider purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (COSAR) Card. The funds raised from these cards directly support volunteer search and rescue teams in the state who are often the first to respond in incidents such as this one.
Lessons Learned and Safety Tips
While details surrounding this incident are still emerging, it provides a timely reminder of the importance of safety while engaging in water activities. Here are some safety tips:
- Always wear a life jacket: No matter your swimming abilities, a life jacket can save your life if you’re swept off your feet or get caught in a current.
- Don’t go alone: Always inform others about your plans and consider having a companion, especially for water activities.
- Be cautious of the current: Rivers can have strong currents, and areas that appear calm can be deceptively dangerous.
- Be aware of the temperature: Water bodies in Colorado can be very cold, even in summer. Cold water can cause sudden gasp reflex and hypothermia, leading to drowning.
The incident serves as a solemn reminder of the dangers of outdoor recreation and the crucial role that search and rescue teams play in responding to emergencies. Safety should always be the number one priority when enjoying Colorado’s beautiful outdoor spaces.