Craig man dies in kayaking accident on Yampa River

DINOSAUR | A 66-year-old
man from Craig, identified Tuesday as
Michael Brinks, died July 15 while on
a two-person private trip using inflatable
kayaks on the Yampa River in
Dinosaur National Monument.
Based on preliminary reports, at
approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday,
July 15, the kayaker hit a rock in
Tepee Rapid, capsized, and never
resurfaced. He was wearing a personal
flotation device. The reporting party
kayaked 24 miles downstream to
Hells Canyon Ranch to report the incident.
Monument staff were contacted
just before 9 p.m. on Saturday. Search
and rescue efforts were launched
Sunday morning.
Due to the remote location of the
incident, and low water levels along
the Yampa River, monument staff
used a helicopter to aid in the
response. A contracted helicopter from
PJ Helicopters of Red Bluff, Calif.,
and the Mesa Verde National Park
Helitack Crew were already on-site in
the monument for a wildland fire
assignment.
At 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, the
kayaker’s body was located approximately
three miles downstream from
the point last seen. The body was
recovered from the river and transported
to the Moffat County Coroner.
The Moffat County Sheriff’s
Department is a partner in the investigation.