Wrongful death accident on river as rafter falls from boat

An Oklahoma man has reportedly died in a whitewater rafting accident in Canon City, Colorado. The man, a 48-year-old from Enid, Oklahoma, died in the accident on June 10 when he was thrown into the river during a commercial rafting trip. That wrongful death incident occurred on the Arkansas River, which was experiencing a modest flow of 3,400 cubic feet per second during the trip.

Official reports show that the raft tipped onto its side as it traveled through some rough water on the river. Five of the seven occupants of the raft were thrown into the river. Four rafters quickly returned to the craft, but the victim could not be located. He was pulled underwater by the river's strong currents; rescuers from the rafting company found him just minutes later. Still, the man was unable to be revived after the incident.

The company that oversaw the trip, Royal Gorge Rafting, has told news reporters that everyone on the boat was wearing safety gear with life jackets and helmets. Kayakers were also accompanying the rafting group to provide an additional measure of safety. Further, it does not appear that the river was running at a dangerous level at the time of the incident -- 3,400 cubic feet per second is within established safe values.

The man was reportedly traveling with his family as one of his relatives played in a softball tournament in nearby Colorado Springs. Now, those relatives have suffered the loss of a loved one to this fatal boating accident. Companies that fail to protect their recreational clients should be held accountable for their negligence in a civil court; family members of such victims deserve financial compensation for their complaints.

Source: Daily Record, "Oklahoma man dies in rafting accident" Christy Steadman, Jun. 10, 2014

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