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Body recovered after canoe with two teens duck hunting capsized

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Posted at 5:25 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 17:56:22-05

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — Divers recovered a body in Clear Creek Reservoir after two days of searching prompted by the report of a Buena Vista teenager missing after the canoe he was riding in with a friend capsized.

The two teens were hunting ducks when strong winds caused the canoe to flip, dumping them in the frigid water around 5 p.m. Saturday, according to a release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Two CPW officers responded and found the mother of one boy and the father of the other on shore. The man swam out to the canoe and was able to grab one of the boys, but he struggled trying to swim back in the 33 degree water and 20 mph winds, according to CPW. Officers Kevin Madler and Zach Baker jumped in the water and helped save both the man and the teen. They could not find the other teen who was in the canoe.

Search crews arrived with jet skis and a rescue boat and began criss-crossing the water with sonar equipment until about 4 a.m. Sunday. Teams with additional crews reassembled Sunday morning with underwater drone equipped with sonar, lights and video camera and worked until dark.

After the search resumed Monday morning, crews located the body at about 12:30 p.m. in water 25 feet deep and about 270 yards off shore.

“We offer our condolences to the family of this young man,” said Jim Aragon, CPW Area Wildlife Manager for the region. “We hate seeing a life lost so tragically. This was a terrible accident.”

The remains were turned over to the Chaffee County Coroner's office. The coroner will determine a cause of death and make formal identification of the victim.