Colorado River Claims Kansas Man

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A trip through one of the world’s natural wonders turns deadly after the Colorado River claims a man’s life.

A private river party, traversing through the Grand Canyon Sunday afternoon, reported that two men had been washed out of their boat at Lava Falls near River Mile 180. 

One man made it to safety, the second man, was swept down the river where he was intercepted by another group.  The man, 64-year-old Gary Aus from Leavenworth, Kansas, was able to hold on to the side of the boat for a short while before becoming dislodged. 

According to the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center, Aus told the group he was okay and would swim to shore.  The group temporarily lost sight of him but found him less than one mile down the river, face down with his personal flotation device up over his head.  CPR was immediately administered for the next 20 minutes, at which point, group members called the National Park Service via satellite phone to report the fatality.

Aus’ body was flown by helicopter to the South Rim and then transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner in Flagstaff for further investigation.