MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming, June 15, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A 23-year-old man from Salt Lake City, working his first season as a kayak guide, died Wednesday while attempting to rescue a client who capsized.
According to a news release from the National Parks Service, Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant passed away during the rescue attempt in the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake. The kayaking group consisted of nine clients and three guides.
The release states that after receiving a call through the park’s dispatch center, rangers responded to the scene in a patrol boat and found Conant in the water. They brought him on board and immediately began CPR while en route back to the dock.
CPR continued as Conant was transported by ambulance to the helipad at Grant Village, about a half-mile from the dock. A Life Flight landed to assist, but Conant was pronounced dead before taking off.
The client Conant tried to save was rescued by other guides in the group and was brought to shore before rangers arrived on scene to help Conant. The client was transported to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia.
The incident is still under investigation.
“Our hearts are with the Conant family after this terrible loss,” Superintendent Dan Wenk said.
According to the release, this was Conant’s first season working as a guide for Oars, a company based out of Angel Camp, California. Oars has offered non-motorized boat tours in Yellowstone under a permit since 1996.
Since 1894, there have been 41 deaths in Yellowstone Lake. The most recent was in 1997 when two people died while canoeing, the release states. Yellowstone Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the United States that is above 7,000 feet, and its average year-round temperature is 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Survival time is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes in water of this temperature.