A woman died in a rafting accident Thursday morning on a guided trip on the San Juan River, north of Pagosa Springs.
Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Randy Larson said a raft on a commercial trip flipped just below the confluence of the West Fork of the San Juan River and the main stem of the river.
The section of river is considered a Class 4/5 run, located a few miles above the tamer town run through Pagosa Springs. As of Thursday, a water gauge just north of Pagosa Springs reported the San Juan River running above 2,000 cubic feet per second.
Larson said emergency personnel were alerted around 10:30 a.m. that a woman was in need of rescue.
Though others in the flipped boat were able to grab onto the raft, the woman was swept downstream, traveling about 3 miles in 15 to 20 minutes, Larson said. The woman was wearing a personal flotation device, a helmet and either a wetsuit or drysuit, he said.
Eventually, a guided boat was able to catch up with the woman on an island in the middle of the river, and a guide started performing CPR. She was loaded onto the boat and taken across the river where emergency responders were waiting, Larson said.
The woman was pronounced dead at Pagosa Springs Medical Center. Larson referred all questions about the manner of death to Archuleta County Coroner Brandon Bishop, who did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday afternoon.
Larson did not know the name of the woman, her age or where she was from. He also did not know the name of the company running the guided trip.