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Body of missing kayaker recovered from Lake Granby

capsized kayaker_Grand County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 3:31 PM, Dec 04, 2023

UPDATE | Dec. 5, 3:43 p.m. — At 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, emergency personnel located a missing kayaker at the bottom of Lake Granby. They were able to use an underwater remote-operated vehicle to remove him.

The sheriff's office said the man was not wearing a personal flotation device.

The man has not been identified.

“Unfortunately, over the last several years, Grand County has experienced a significant number of water related emergencies and recoveries," Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said. "The formation of the Headwaters Water Rescue Authority, encompasses law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel who plan and prepare for these operations and then immediately respond to these incidents to bring closure to the family.”

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GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — Recovery efforts are underway to find a missing man whose kayak capsized on Lake Granby on Sunday morning.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office said they believe the missing man is a 21-year-old from the Denver metro area. He has not been identified.

The Grand County Communications Center received a 911 call around 6:45 a.m. on Sunday about a person in the water on Lake Granby.

Multiple agencies responded to the emergency, including the sheriff’s office, Grand County Emergency Medical Services, Grand Lake Fire Protection District, Grand Fire Protection District No. 1, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and staff from the Beacon Landing Marina.

Kayaker missing at Lake Granby

When they arrived near the area, they "experienced massive snow fall, blowing and drifting conditions and zero or near-zero visibility," the sheriff's office reported.

Plows with Grand County Road and Bridge helped the first responders get to where the 911 caller was near the shoreline.

Once they arrived, the caller said he and a friend had spent the night prior on Deer Island, which is in the central area of the lake just east of Sunset Point, and were attempting to get back to shore that morning in their kayaks. As they moved across the open water, wind caused his friend's kayak to capsize and he fell into the water, the man said.

The caller said he couldn't save his friend before the man went underwater, and managed to get himself to shore and called for help.

capsized kayaker_Grand County Sheriff's Office

The conditions were still rough as the responders started to search for the missing man. Heavy winds and choppy waters made the search a challenge and the operations were suspended around 2 p.m.

More help, including the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Marine Evidence Recovery Team (MERT), arrived on Monday, which will have better conditions for the search.