Michael Robert James, 40, of Boulder died Saturday while paddleboarding at the Buena Vista River Park, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze reported Sunday.

Eyewitnesses reported that James fell in the water and was unable to get back on his paddleboard.

“Boaters in the water initially tried to rescue James. However, he was eventually swept downstream due to high, fast-moving water,” the sheriff said.

Another boater located James in Johnson Village. High, swift water prevented several attempts to pull James to safety. The same boater accompanied James to River Runners, where emergency crews and private citizens pulled him out of the water. By that time James was dead.

The sheriff’s office received numerous calls at about 4:30 p.m. about the incident. Emergency personnel immediately responded to the area.

Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services was on scene, and James was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m.

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