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Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park


An unidentified man has drowned during a rafting trip through Grand Canyon National Park.

Park officials say rangers were notified about 4 p.m. Sunday about a man who had gone into the water at Hance Rapid, River Mile 77, when the boat he was traveling in flipped. The victim had been in the water several minutes before being pulled out by others in his party. Although CPR efforts were immediately initiated by participants on the trip, efforts to save him were not successful.

Park rangers were unable to reach the party Sunday night or early Monday due to inclement weather and inaccessible terrain.

The trip continued downriver Monday morning to Phantom Ranch (River Mile 88) where it was met by park rangers. The man’s body was flown out of the canyon and taken to the South Rim Helibase. His body was then transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner and taken to Flagstaff, Arizona.

An autopsy will be performed to determine cause of death. The victim’s name and age were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.


How horribly sad! I went through the grand canyon on a trip of a life time with my entire family 2 years ago and it was truly amazing! I would recommend it still to anybody, despite this freak accident. The trip is not without risks, but then again neither is my morning commute on I-95, and the view on I-95 is nothing comparing to awe inspiring view from inside the canyon.

Our friends are on a trip that launched March 10th, which I believe is the same date as this gentleman's trip. Can you give us any more information? i.e. the trip leader? That would be enough info to let us know if this is our friend's trip. Our friends have a satellite phone with them, but they have been having a hard time connecting with us for more than 1-2 minutes. We only want to know our friends' fate, if you have any information! Thank you, sincerely, Crhis & Amy Steinke


This group did launch on the 10th. The victim was 45-year-old Randall Johnson of Grand Junction, Colorado. That's all the additional information I have. Hopefully your friends are OK.

Amy, get a hold of Greg K. he'll have info.

i know of two people on this trip, gretchin joslin and her husband sean. hope this helps

Ranko (as I've always known him) was a great boater and a wonderful man. I will never forget the many amazing trips, talks, and times we have had. He is my father's friend and I have known him for my entire life. He gave the most amazing bear hugs and never failed to put a smile on my face. All I can say is, at least he was doing what he loved most when he died.

Thanks for the call, Jessica. We've heard lots of info since I first posted this note, which I'm sure you have as well. Chris doesn't have Kellogg's number any more, so if you want to give us a call at the house or on the number I left on your answering machine, we'd love to give him a shout (anyway, not just because of this situation). I'm sure he's bummed, as we all are...

Let's catch up soon!

I ran Hance the day after the accident. The water was HUGE. We had heard about a death the day before. I also heard from another group that the man who died was complaining of chest pains and was dizzy the night before.

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