Motorboat Flips at Grand Canyon National Park, Leaves 1 Person Dead

by Amy Myers

Earlier this afternoon, Grand Canyon National Park staff responded to a distress call regarding a flipped boat on the Colorado River. Unfortunately, the park reported that there is already one fatality as a result of the accident.

According to the park’s tweet, at 2:12 p.m., emergency crews rushed to Bedrock Rapid, a Class VII rapid located near Bedrock Canyon. The rapid, a revered challenge among rafters and paddlers, is known for the jagged island that separates its left and right channels.

So far, teams have recovered one deceased individual are are “underway to treat and transport injured patients.” Grand Canyon National Park has yet to reveal how many other victims were a part of the accident.

Grand Canyon Paddlers Express Danger of Bedrock Rapid’s Left Run

So far, officials haven’t released many other details about the incident, but we do know that Bedrock Rapid is a particularly tricky run for white water paddlers. According to the River Travel Company, the key to this run is to stick to the right. If boaters end up on the left side, they may get more than they bargained for.

In fact, dozens of paddlers and rafters have posted their own mishaps on the left channel. Among the left run survivors is rafter Garrett Morrow who warned against the danger of the run.

Despite the fact that the majority of the video is underwater, the message is clear: don’t go left.

“This is a challenging position to be in as the current and eddy here are very swift, and the eddy is difficult to get out of,” the River Travel Company explained. “If you end up over here, stay calm, work hard to exit the eddy without getting pushed against the rock, and be ready for some high siding.”

It’s also not yet clear what type of boat was in Bedrock Rapid, however, because it was a motorboat, it’s possible that was a motorized J-rig raft carrying commercial passengers.

As more details regarding the Grand Canyon National Park accident surface, Outsider will keep you updated.

Grand Canyon National Park Sees Another Fatality in September

Sadly, the recent boating accident isn’t the only tragedy that Grand Canyon National Park has experienced this month. This past Sunday, a backpacker died along the Thunder River Trail roughly a mile from the junction of Tapeats Creek and the Colorado River.

The victim, Delphine Martinez, 59, of Window Rock, Ariz., was completing a multi-day backpacking trip when she became “disoriented” and fell unconscious while hiking along the trail. Fellow backpackers tried to revive Martinez, but unfortunately, were unsuccessful.

Grand Canyon National Park reported that temperatures in the inner canyon that day were well into the triple-digits, “with the high temperature at Phantom Ranch approximately 115°F.”

The park is working with the Coconino County Medical Examiner to determine the backpacker’s cause of death.