On June 14 at about 7:41 p.m., the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office received reports of an overturned raft on the Poudre River near mile marker 95 on Highway 14 west of Fort Collins. Initial reports indicated several rafters were unaccounted for and one woman was pulled from the water unresponsive.
Several Larimer County entities responded to the scene. Responding agencies learned there were a total of seven people on the non-commercial raft when it overturned. Two were located near the roadway and four were located on the opposite side of the river.
The 29-year-old unresponsive woman did not survive despite receiving life saving efforts. All occupants of the raft were wearing helmets and personal flotation devices when the raft overturned. No further information is available about the woman.
Due to the velocity of the river, ruggedness of the terrain and time of day, the four rafters located on the opposite side of the river were escorted out on foot by Larimer County Search and Rescue.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office reminds any persons engaging in activities along the rivers to use extreme caution. Due to current water conditions, activities on all rivers in Larimer County are inherently dangerous. If you wish to experience the river in a recreational watercraft, contact one of the many local commercial rafting companies because they have qualified instructors, safety equipment, trained staff and emergency protocols in place. Recommended personal protection equipment includes a properly sized personal flotation device, swift water helmet that allows water to drain from it, and wetsuit when water temperatures are cold. Multi-chambered rafts are also recommended for use on the river. These extra measures decrease, but do not eliminate all the risks.