Man dies during river trip in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park stock image | St George News

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — A man drowned while swimming in the Colorado River during a river trip in Grand Canyon National Park Tuesday.

National Park Service rangers responded to an emergency call for medical assistance with the man, 77-year-old man Kenneth Reece of Tasmania, Australia.

Responding rangers arrived at the scene below Deer Creek Falls and took over resuscitation efforts from on-scene personnel, but they were unable to revive Reece.

At the time of the incident, Reece was swimming in the vicinity of the falls and was recovered from the water by other river trip members who initiated CPR.

The rescue team recovered the body using the park’s helicopter and transferred it to the Coconino County Medical Examiner in Arizona. Park rangers and the Medical Examiner’s Office are cooperating in a death investigation.

In a news release, the park service advises visitors of the potential dangers of swimming in the river:

Grand Canyon National Park would like to remind visitors that swimming in the Colorado River is very different from swimming in pools. The water can change in depth unexpectedly, going from shallow to deep in just a few steps, and it can have swift, strong currents, waterfalls, cold temperatures, and underwater hazards such as trees and boulders. Even the strongest swimmers can be overcome by these conditions.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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