A Colorado Springs man on a commercial rafting trip in The Numbers section of the Arkansas River north of Buena Vista died when the raft he was in flipped at rapid No. 5 at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Brian Fitzpatrick, 51, was pulled out of the water nonresponsive and was given CPR immediately by a commercial guide.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area rangers responded, joined by Chaffee County sheriff’s deputies and Chaffee County EMS personnel.
Rangers and Chaffee EMS took over CPR from the guide and deployed an automated external defibrillator on Fitzpatrick but were unable to revive him.
Emergency personnel declared the man deceased, and the body was turned over to the Chaffee County coroner for identification.
County Coroner Jeff Graf said results of an autopsy were consistent with a drowning death.
The Numbers is a steep and rocky 5-mile section of the river and is known for technical and challenging rafting.
The river flow at the station nearest The Numbers was 768 cubic feet per second at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation District Park Manager Thomas A. Waters said the district does not provide the names of commercial rafting companies involved in incidents.