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The Latest: Man dies in rafting accident in Colorado

July 6, 2019

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on rescues on Colorado’s swollen rivers (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Authorities say a man died after the raft he was in flipped on the Arkansas River in southern Colorado.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say five people were thrown from the privately owned raft in a whitewater section of the river below Salida on Friday afternoon. Kayakers floating near the raft rescued four of the people, but the fifth was carried downstream.

The man, whose name has not been released, was seen floating face-down and was pulled from the water. Rangers with the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area performed CPR, but the man died at the scene.

Earlier Friday, a 26-year-old man who was involved in a tubing accident on the Poudre (POO’-dur) River in northern Colorado the previous day died. He was identified as Matthew Spates, of Fort Collins.

Colorado’s rivers are swollen this time of year as the heavy mountain snowpack melts.

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4:30 p.m.

A 26-year-old man involved in a tubing accident on the Poudre (POO’-dur) River in northern Colorado has died.

Poudre Fire Authority officials say eight people were rescued off a small island in the river in LaPorte on Thursday, and a ninth was found in a tree in the river. One was flown by helicopter to the hospital, where he died early Friday morning.

Debbie Reisdorff, Larimer County’s deputy coroner, identified the victim as Matthew Spates, of Fort Collins. His death has been ruled an accidental drowning.

In western Colorado, six people were thrown from their raft after it overturned in the Roaring Fork River on Thursday. The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports two were able to swim to shore nearby. A helicopter and ground crews searched for the others for about an hour before they were found a distance downstream.

Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said none of the rafters was injured and all were wearing life jackets.

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10:30 a.m.

Firefighters say they rescued nine people from the Poudre (POO’-dur) River in northern Colorado after getting reports of rafters in trouble.

The Poudre Fire Authority said eight people were rescued off a small island in the river in LaPorte Thursday and a ninth person was found in a tree in the river. One was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

In western Colorado, six people were thrown from their raft after it overturned in the Roaring Fork River on Thursday. The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports two were able to swim to shore nearby. A helicopter and ground crews searched for the others for about an hour before they were found a distance downstream.

Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said none of the rafters were injured and all were wearing life jackets.

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