NATIONAL NEWS

1 dead after motorboat flips at Grand Canyon National Park

Sep 11, 2022, 8:01 PM
The Colorado River is pictured in Page, Ariz., on March 28, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
The Colorado River is pictured in Page, Ariz., on March 28, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — A 67-year-old man died after a motorboat flipped over during a Colorado River trip inside Grand Canyon National Park, officials said Sunday.

Park officials said the boat overturned shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday at Bedrock Rapid, which rafting experts say is a large rocky island that divides the river into left and right channels.

Emergency medical personnel treated four people and transported them to the South Rim, park officials said. Authorities say their injuries are not critical.

Park officials identified the deceased as Ronald Vanderlugt, but didn’t immediately release his hometown. They said Vanderlugt was on the fifth day of his trip.

Members of the river trip group pulled Vanderlugt out of the water, saw he was unresponsive and began CPR, park officials said. They said park rangers were flown into the location by helicopter, but Vanderlugt could not be resuscitated.

The boat flipped in the rapid when it came up against a rock, said John Dillon, executive director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, which represents outfitters permitted in the canyon.

Dillon said some of the passengers decided against continuing the trip, operated by Western River Expeditions.

An investigation will be conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

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1 dead after motorboat flips at Grand Canyon National Park