ARKANSAS RIVER RAFT ACCIDENT

Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office Press Release; June 28, 2017 On 06/27/17 at 2:27 pm the Chaffee County Communications Center was contacted in regards to a male who had fallen from a raft in Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River. According to the caller the male had been retrieved from the river in the area of the Widow maker rapids, a class 3 section of water, and CPR was being administered to the victim. Members of the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Chaffee County search and rescue, Salida Fire Swift Water Rescue and Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded to the scene. Upon arrival rescuers contacted parties who were on a private raft trip who stated they were in the area of the Widow Maker rapids when the victim fell from the raft. After a short distance the male was retrieved and CPR was immediately started. Chaffee County EMS, Chaffee Fire and Chaffee Search and Rescue North located the victim and CPR was continued. After attempts to revive the victim failed the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, The Chaffee County Coroner and took possession of the victim who was then transported to Salida. Identity of the victim will be made available to the public after family is located and...

Chaffee County Search and Rescue responds to several incidents

Guinne Stropes, Mountain Mail Intern, June 16, 2017 Chaffee County Search and Rescue North helped three people involved in medical emergencies Tuesday at the Zoom Flume rapid in Browns Canyon National Monument and Wednesday at Browns Lake. “Tuesday we kicked off the river rescue season when a commercial raft client was thrown from a boat in the Zoom Flume rapid in Browns Canyon National Monument and required medical evacuation. We helped EMS get to the subject and we got the subject out,” Search and Rescue North posted on its Facebook page Wednesday. Tom Waters, Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area operational manager, said the victim is a 75-year-old woman, but the situation is currently under investigation so no names may be released. Search and Rescue North was called to Browns Lake by Mount Antero Wednesday after receiving a call at 2:15 p.m. about a medical emergency on the west end of the lake. A team of two hikers began the 6-mile hike to the location. “They began to hike to the location of the 57-year-old male but determined, from descriptions of his condition given to them by other hikers, that the best and easiest way to get him down safely was to call for a helicopter,” said Scott Anderson, president of Chaffee County Search and Rescue North. Tom Moore, a Search and Rescue North crew member, said the man was on a trip with a Boy Scout group from Texas. A team of seven was sent up shortly after the first team but was delayed after discovering another group of hikers who were experiencing a medical emergency. “One of the hikers,...

Chaffee Search and Rescue rescues woman climber

by Mason Miller Chaffee County Times Staff Writer | May 8, 2017 BUENA VISTA – Chaffee County Search and Rescue North successfully rescued a woman climber Sunday. The group began rescue efforts Sunday morning after receiving a report of a fallen climber, somewhere off Cottonwood Pass Road, President Scott Anderson said. A Colorado woman in her early 30s was rescued after she fell around 300 feet down a couloir at 11,000 feet elevation just west of Ptarmigan Lake and almost directly south of Turner Peak. Anderson said aside from minor lacerations and some bumps and bruises, the woman was fine. “They had progressed halfway down, and (the woman) was transitioning from face in to face out when she tripped. Her axe got tangled in her puffy jacket and she was unable to arrest. By the time she detangled her axe and had almost gotten upright, she tumbled on rocks and continued her fall for a total of about 300 feet before she stopped on soft snow,” Anderson said. The hiking party began their ascent around 4 a.m. and started the descent just after 7:30 a.m., allowing for ample climbing time and well before springtime thunderstorms begin, Anderson said. The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call about the fallen hiker just before 10 a.m. from her partner, who had dug out a trench for her before descending down the pass to Cottonwood Hot Springs, where he was able to get cellphone reception. “Two snowmobilers were able to get in partway, then climbed up to help get her to the side of the couloir, when a CCSAR-N technical team...

Boulder man dies at Chalk Cliffs

Brian McCabe Mountain Mail News Editor, April 10, 2017 Matthew Wayne Lackey, 31, Boulder, died Monday after sustaining serious injuries from a fall at Chalk Cliffs on Mount Princeton.  Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze reported Lackey and his friends were climbing the rock face without equipment when a large boulder dislodged, causing Lackey to fall approximately 40 feet to the ground below, then tumble another 100 feet down the rocky slope.  His friends moved him to level ground as they awaited emergency response, Spezze said. Hikers who saw the fall reported it at 12:58 p.m., and sheriff’s deputies responded along with personnel from Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services, Chaffee County Search and Rescue North and South and Chaffee County Fire Protection District. Deputies were met by the hikers who called in the incident, who said they heard a rock falling from the cliff area and saw a man falling when they looked up.  Emergency crews administered first aid, and REACH Air Ambulance was called to the scene, but Lackey was pronounced dead at the scene. The Chaffee County coroner responded and took possession of the...

Mount Yale hikers find themselves lost, stuck

Mason Miller, Chaffee County Times Staff, January 27, 2017 Buena Vista – Four out-of-state hikers were in for the adventure of their life Wednesday night. After flying into Denver from the Detroit metro area Tuesday morning with plans for a Mount Yale summit Wednesday by way of the Denny Creek Trailhead, 30-year-old Steve Coykendall, brother Brian and friend Matt Dion became disoriented at around 2 p.m., following a flurry of snow and whiteout conditions. The three were located by a REACH helicopter at around midnight Thursday morning near Delaney Gulch, not far from the Denny Creek Trailhead. Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze confirmed that none of the three men required medical assistance and that a fourth party member who departed from the group earlier in the day had reached out to the sheriff’s office around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The party was located and assisted by Chaffee County Search and Rescue North and the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and eventually hiked back down the trail around 1:30 a.m. At midmorning Wednesday, fellow hiker William Sowders decided to depart from the group due to fatigue and not wanting to hold the group back, he said. By 8 p.m., Sowders became worried that the group may have gotten lost and contacted the sheriff’s office, which established a search party shortly after. “I was expecting them to be done at 6. By 7 p.m., I decided to speak with some of the family members and we all decided that at 8 p.m. we needed to call Search and Rescue,” Sowders said. Up on the mountain, the group began hiking around attempting to find...