1 dead after motorboat capsizes in Grand Canyon National Park


A 67-year-old man died after a motorboat capsized during a trip down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, officials said Sunday.

Park officials said the boat capsized shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday at Bedrock Rapid, which rafting experts say is a large rocky island that divides the river into left and right channels.

Emergency medical personnel treated four people and transported them to the South Rim, park officials said. Authorities say their injuries are not critical.

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Park officials identified the deceased as Ronald Vanderlugt, but did not immediately release his birthplace. They said that Vanderlugt was on the fifth day of his journey.

Members of the river tour group got Vanderlugt out of the water, saw him become unresponsive and began CPR, park officials said. They said park rangers had flown to the site by helicopter, but Vanderlugt was unable to be resuscitated.

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The boat flipped over in the rapids when it hit a rock, said John Dillon, executive director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, which represents outfitters allowed in the canyon.

Dillon said some passengers decided not to continue the journey, operated by Western River Expeditions.

An investigation will be conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

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