Tragedy struck over the weekend in Colorado, when a father and son died as the result of a rafting accident on the Arkansas River in Pueblo. The accident occurred on Father’s Day.
At approximately 1:24 PM on Sunday, June 21, Pueblo Police and Pueblo Fire were called to a water rescue mission that involved two individuals that had been ejected from a raft. The accident occurred when the raft went over a dam, resulting in two of the individuals getting ejected and forced underwater, becoming tangled in ropes attached to the raft in the process. They were wearing personal floatation devices at the time.
According to the Pueblo Police Department, the two became trapped in a river hydraulic. The two were later identified as a father and son by the Pueblo County Coroner.
Two people died as the result of a rafting accident this afternoon in the Arkansas River near City Park in Pueblo. They are Ricardo Valencia Sanchez, 46, and Jose Louis Valencia, 16, of Aurora. They are Father and Son. — Pueblo County Coroner (@CoronerPueblo) June 21, 2020
Thanks goes out to those involved in this mission and condolences go out to the friends and family members of the deceased.
This accident is the latest in a number of fatal water accidents in Colorado. On a recent weekend, five individuals died in various water-related accidents around the state. In those cases, PDFs were not being used.
If you’re entering the water in Colorado, wear a life jacket and be aware of potential existing hazards in the vicinity. Always tell people where you’ll be going and when you’re expecting to be back. It’s also important to be aware of the water temperature prior to entering, as entering cold water quickly can result in cold water shock – a condition that can lock the body up and result in drowning.