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Kayaker missing after going into Colorado River at Hot Sulphur Springs on Sunday

Ari Harms.jpg
Posted at 3:42 PM, May 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-07 11:48:43-04

Editor's note: After 6 days, the Grand County Sheriff's Office said the search for Ari Harms, a kayaker who went missing on the Colorado River over Memorial Day weekend would end until search conditions improved.

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — A kayaker is missing after he left a campground in Hot Sulphur Springs and entered the Colorado River on Sunday.

Around 2 p.m. on Monday, the host of the Pioneer Park campground reached out to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office to report that a person who was supposed to have checked out already had left their vehicle at a campsite. Deputies responded to the campground and spoke with the host and other campers. They told the deputies they had seen the male visitor go into the Colorado River with an inflatable kayak on Sunday. Nobody had seen him since.

Deputies were able to identify the man as Ari Harms. He is in his 30s.

Ari Harms.jpg

The sheriff's office, along with Grand County Emergency Medical Services, responded to and searched the Colorado River in Byers Canyon but were not able to locate the man.

The search continued Wednesday morning and conducted short intermittent closures of Highway 40 in Byers Canyon from Hot Sulphur Springs to Beaver Creek Road (County Road 50) from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Search teams were able to locate Harms's backpack and other belongings in the Colorado River, the sheriff's office tweeted Thursday.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | May 30, 11am

On Friday, the sheriff's office said it was still working to locate Harms, and was using specialized water search dogs.

Anybody who sees Harms is asked to call the sheriff's office at 970-725-3311.

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