Local News

Rafter dies on Arkansas River in Royal Gorge

Victim was from Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Man Dies While Rafting in Royal Gorge

ROYAL GORGE, Colo. - The Fremont County Sheriff's Office said a Colorado Springs man died while rafting in the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge on Saturday.

Investigators said Christopher Sevilla, 44, apparently had some type of respiratory problem before he and five other rafters were tossed out of a commercial raft while negotiating rough waters in the Royal Gorge.

Witnesses said Sevilla floated down the river before he was pulled to shore unresponsive at around 1:30 p.m.

Rescuers immediately began resuscitation efforts and were able to flag down the Royal Gorge Route Railroad train that was headed back to Canon City.

Sevilla was pronounced dead when he arrived in Canon City.  Sevilla was wearing a helmet and a personal flotation device.  Officials said Sevilla was not with any other family members on the rafting trip.

Sevilla is the second rafter to die on the Arkansas River this week.

Van Hodges, 48, of Enid, Oklahoma, died near the Salt Lick recreation area June 10.

Hodges was with two of his three children and his wife in a commercial raft when the boat flipped in a rapid.

On June 2, Christopher Frazier, 23, was tubing in the river through Pueblo when he disappeared and has yet to be found.  He is presumed to have drowned. 

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