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Two dead after separate accidents at Curecanti National Recreation Area

Posted at 3:20 PM, Jun 26, 2019

GUNNISON — The National Park Service said two people died last Friday in separate accidents on the Gunnison River and the Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Park rangers said it started in the morning when they received a call about a paddleboarder that fell into the Gunnison River and was caught in a tree that was underwater.

Rescuers pulled the 31-year-old woman from the water and rushed her to Gunnison Valley Hospital before she was flown to Grand Junction, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Another victim, a 65-year-old woman, died in a kayak accident on the east end of Blue Mesa Reservoir. Both incidents remain under investigation, and their names have not yet been released.

The National Park Service, which operates the Curecanti National Recreation Area, has closed the Gunnison River between Riverway and Beaver Creek for paddleboards, innertubes and other similar flotation devices because of recent incidents.

Rangers said they also want to remind visitors that the water is cold and they should watch for debris in the water.