Father Drowns While Taking Son and Boy Scouts Rafting Along Arkansas River
A man who was leading a group of Boy Scouts, including his son, on a rafting trip in southern Colorado has drowned following an accident on the Arkansas River
The victim, identified as 42-year-old Sameer Prasla of Austin, Texas, died after falling into the river around 3:45 p.m. just west of Canon City near Spike Buck Rapids on June 10, reports the Canon City Daily Record.
Prasla was part of commercial raft trip with the Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base with his son and other Boy Scouts when the accident occurred.
"A large group of Boy Scouts was on a commercial rafting trip with Mountain High Adventure Base out of Villa Grove," Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper said, reports The Pueblo Chieftain. "We were notified the boat flipped and there were several people in the water."
Police said officials from Tallahassee Fire Protection District, American Medical Response and Colorado Parks and Wildlife pulled Prasla out of the water and began performing CPR on him. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Prasla was wearing both a level 5 life jacket and a helmet at the time. His death was recorded as accidental drowning by the coroner's office.
The day after the fatal accident, authorities in nearby Pueblo announced restricted access to the Arkansas River as a result of the dangerous conditions.
The Pueblo Police Department and the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said that recreational use of the river, including swimming, will be prohibited from Pueblo Boulevard to the Pueblo County/Otero County line due to the dangerously fast-flowing and high water.
Whitewater canoes and kayaks are still permitted on the river from Pueblo Boulevard to Colorado Highway 227. Similar restrictions are also in place on the river from the Pueblo Dam to Pueblo Boulevard.
"Right now, the river is flowing high and fast creating a very hazardous situation," Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said in a statement. "Due to the dangerous condition of the river, we feel that for the safety of the public, we request people to stay out of the water until conditions improve."
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flood warning for several areas along the Arkansas River, including Pendleton affecting Desha and Lincoln Counties and Toad Suck Lock and Dam Tailwater affecting Faulkner and Perry Counties.
"Everyone with property or other interest along streams and rivers should remain alert to changing weather forecasts," the NWS said in a statement. "Should conditions change, look for river forecasts or Flood Warnings for use in making informed decisions to protect life and property."