JENSEN, Utah, July 8, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified a 47-year-old California man who died in a rafting accident in Triplet Falls on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument Saturday, and have also provided more details.
The deceased is Anthony Vasi, 47, from Newport Beach, said a news release from the National Park Service.
The rafter was part of a group that included family and friends on a commercial rafting trip, said the NPS news release.
“Dinosaur National Monument received notification via satellite text message at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, of a boating accident on the Green River at Triplet Falls,” the news release said.
“Initial reports were that a raft flipped and an adult male was unconscious. Search and Rescue response was coordinated among staff from Dinosaur National Monument, Classic Air Medical, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.”
At approximately 12:15 p.m. Saturday the commercial raft Vasi was in entered a feature in the rapids at Triplet Falls known as “the Birth Canal” and became stuck on one of the rocks, the news release said.
“Several passengers, including Vasi, were ejected into the water,” the news release said. “Vasi was responsive while trapped in the water, but initial attempts to pull him out were unsuccessful. He became unresponsive when being moved from behind the rock into the main current by a rescue swimmer. Another boat assisted with moving Vasi onto a gravel bar downstream of the rapid, where CPR was immediately initiated.”
Members of the rafting trip continued to provide CPR until care was transitioned to the helicopter flight crew of Classic Air Medical, which arrived on the scene at 1:30 p.m. and declared Vasi deceased.
They then transported the victim by helicopter to the Ashley Regional Medical Center in Vernal.
At the same time, Dinosaur National Monument rangers traveled by raft to the scene of the incident to conduct an investigation and assist the rest of the group in reaching Echo Park, where they exited the river on Sunday around noon.
Triplet Falls, which has a Class III difficulty rating, is located along the Green River in a remote portion of Dinosaur National Monument about 12 river miles from the monument’s northern boundary near Gates of Lodore. The area is surrounded by steep canyon walls rising 1,200 feet and higher above the river.
There is no cell service in that portion of the monument. River flow was approximately 2,350 cubic feet per second at the time of the incident.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.