Strong Rafting Year Expected Despite Fatalities

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This year has seen a spike in Colorado waterway fatalities. But, as KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports, those in the rafting industry continue to predict a good season overall.

Four deaths have occurred during commercial rafting trips in Colorado this year, including two on the Arkansas River. This comes after several years without incident.           

David Costlow, director of the Colorado River Outfitters Association, says it’s still unclear whether there are any trends among the fatalities.

“Our goal will always be to be zero," said Costlow. "I’m not sure if that’s a goal that can be met every year. We’d like to see it. We were delighted that ’12 and ’13 met that goal, it’s phenomenal. But I don’t know if that’s a realistic thing to expect every year.”

Costlow says rafters should always exercise caution, and even with a higher fatality rate than previous years, he expects close to half a million people to raft Colorado waterways this year.