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Swimmer Rescued From Green River

Dinosaur National Monument

National Park News

Two college-age students camping with their geology class decided to swim across the Green River at the Split Mountain boat ramp at 6:30 a.m. on May 18th. River flows were high at the time, running about 7,000 cubic feet per second, and the water temperature was in the mid-fifties. They were each clothed in shorts and shoes; neither had a life jacket. One turned back soon after starting and made it back to shore, but the other ended up across the river on a small sandbar against the Split Mountain rock face. Members of the group attempted their own rescue by tying an individual to a rope. When he entered the water, the current jerked the rope out of the hands of two of the three people holding it, while the third suffered rope burns to his hands. As the flow caught the “rescuer,” the rope became taut and he was forced to the bottom of the river. Fortunately he was able to employ a knife to cut himself free, and was helped back to shore. Meanwhile, other members of the group contacted an interpretive ranger, who reported the incident via radio. Ranger Zach Parkes arrived within minutes and assumed incident command. Resource management “weed warrior” Kelly Kager arrived with an inflatable kayak, extra life jacket, and helmet, and after a safety system was set up downstream, she paddled across the river and was able to return the swimmer to the campground via boat. He was evaluated for hypothermia and injuries. All other party members refused medical attention.


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