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Kayaker dies in boating accident


On July 12, 2014 at approximately 1230 pm there was a whitewater related boating accident on the Arkansas River in Chaffee County, Colorado. The accident occurred between the Fisherman’s Bridge area and Browns Canyon located approximately 8 miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado.

According to witnesses who were in the area at the time, they observed an unidentified male become lodged on a rock near Fisherman’s Bridge. The male dislodged his boat and headed for shore. The witnesses continued downriver for approximately 1.5 miles. A short time later these same witnesses observed an unoccupied kayak floating downstream. They then observed the same unidentified male floating face down behind the kayak. The male was pulled to shore immediately and CPR was administered. Chaffee County EMS arrived a short time later and continued with CPR however efforts to revive the victim were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim was identified as Erik Summers, 43, of Brighton, Colorado.  He was operating a private kayak not associated with any commercial rafting company.

 Other agencies assisting in this incident were the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office.