A kayaker and dog were presumed dead Sunday after they fell into the Cherry Creek Reservoir and rescuers could not quickly locate them in the murky water.
Authorities believe a strong gust of wind pushed the kayaker and dog into the water at Cherry Creek State Park around 11:50 a.m., said Kim Spuhler, South Metro Fire Rescue public information officer.
Several witnesses saw the incident and a rescue effort was quickly mounted as stormy weather moved in, but was unsuccessful, Spuhler said.
“The water is so gritty and dark right now that our divers can’t even see 12 inches in front of them,” Spuhler said. She added that rescuers had a 90-minute window in which the kayaker could still have been saved after going under.
Crews are searching for one party and their dog. SMFR’s drone is about to launch for an overhead perspective. pic.twitter.com/EYAwtJUv2d
— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) May 2, 2021
“Because the water is cold, we can give them 90 minutes for rescue mode, we have hope we can bring this person back,” she said.
The operation shifted from rescue to recovery shortly before 2 p.m., when that window expired, she said. State park officials will now use a boat with sonar to try to find the bodies.
The kayaker has not been publicly identified.