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Body of missing kayaker recovered from Crystal River near Redstone

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Posted at 11:07 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 12:57:29-04

UPDATE | The body of a missing kayaker was recovered from Crystal River in Pitkin County Saturday. The deceased has been identified as 41-year-old Chason P. Russell, a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and a volunteer for Mountain Rescue Aspen. The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office has determined the cause of death was drowning.

REDSTONE, Colo. — A kayaker remains missing after overturning his kayak in the Crystal River Thursday.

A 911 call came into the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center at about 9:25 p.m. to report a lost kayaker near Redstone.

The kayaker, a 41-year-old man from the Roaring Fork Valley and a volunteer for Mountain Rescue Aspen, was traveling with a group of three when he overturned and was released from his kayak in the area of the Meatgrinder in the Crystal River. Meatgrinder is a technical, fast-paced and steep rapid.

At 8 a.m. Friday, The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, the Carbondale Rural Fire Protection District and volunteers from Mountain Rescue Aspen searched for the kayaker by drone and on foot in his last known location, as well as the bank of the river from Redstone to Penny Hot Springs.

Search crews located the man's kayak, but not the kayaker.

Crystal River water levels are currently high and heavy, and conditions around the river are dangerous to both the public and rescuers.

Rescue personnel will reassess the situation with the changing conditions.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.