Texas man dies while rafting on Arkansas River in Fremont County

VIDEO Arkansas River claims first white water rafting death of the year

CANON CITY, Colo. - A 42-year-old man from Texas is dead after a rafting accident that happened Monday on the Arkansas River.

According the Fremont County Sheriff's office, Sameer Prasla was on a whitewater rafting trip with his son along with a group of Boy Scouts of America. 

Officials tell us that seven boats were rafting down the Arkansas River Monday, when one flipped near mile marker 262 along U.S. Hwy 50.

Most of the passengers were loaded onto the other boats, but one was face down in the river, floating downstream. A rafting guide took him to shore half-mile down from where the boat flipped.

At approximately 3:45 pm, deputies with the Fremont County Sheriff's office were dispatched to Spike Buck Rapids west of Canon City on a reported whitewater boating accident. 

Tallahassee Fire Department and AMR were first to arrive at the scene and started life saving efforts, however; when the Fremont County Coroner came to the scene Prasla was pronounced dead. 

Prasla was wearing a class 5 life jacket and helmet when he fell into the river. 

This is the first reported death on the Arkansas River this rafting season, and it comes amid high water-level advisories in the area.

At that time on Monday, the water flow on the Arkansas River was more than 4,200 cubic-feet per second (CFS).

Fremont County Emergency Management fully expects that number to increase to 5,000 CFS by the end of the week. 

Some commercial rafters are avoiding three sections of the Arkansas River, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. Rafters voluntarily agree to avoid the river underneath the Royal Gorge Bridge when the river hits 3,200 CFS.  

"(The rafting) can be extremely dangerous," says Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper. "Although it doesn't look it, the hydronic pressure is tremendous, especially when you get water levels we are experiencing right now"

Sheriff Cooper discourages Arkansas River boating until the river flows subside.

Rafting experts tell KRDO that before the heavy water flow arrived, the Spike Buck Rapids portion of the Arkansas River is typically very family friendly.

KRDO reached out to Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base, the rafting company from Villa Grove that took the group onto the water. Their director could not be reached for comment. 

Last week, a man died in a rafting accident on Eagle River in Eagle County.

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