CAÑON CITY – A Texas man is dead after his raft flipped over in the Arkansas River Monday afternoon.
The Fremont County Coroner’s office said 42-year-old Sameer Prasla, from Austin, Texas, was in a commercial raft around 4 p.m. when the accident happened just 16 miles west of Cañon City. News5 is told Prasla was on a tour with a commercial rafting company out of Salida.
Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller said this is believed to be a drowning, but they are waiting for results of an autopsy, which is being performed today. This is the first rafting death in the Arkansas River this year.
News5 is following developments on the Arkansas River as the snowpack is melting on Colorado peaks.
The water keep rising in the Arkansas River, bringing with it the promise of the best whitewater river rafting season in years, but also the threats that come along with deep, cold, fast-flowing water.
Discharge through Centennial Park in Cañon City now exceeds 4,000 cubic feet per second, or the equivalent force of 4,000 basketball passing a single point per second. “It’s awesome for our tourism, it’s great for the boaters, rafters, and fishermen as well,” said Fremont County Emergency Manager Mykel Kroll. “With the historic snowpack we had in the high country, we’re seeing all of the runoff from that as our temperatures have warmed up.”