Coroner’s office releases name of Gore kayaker
The Grand County Coroner’s Office has released the name of the kayaker that died in Gore Canyon on Thursday, August 11. James “Jaime” Page, 25, of Pennsylvania drowned while kayaking according to Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s office, Lt. Dan Mayer. Mayer said the incident appears to be a tragic accident and does not appear suspicious. Page was a very experienced kayaker and was kayaking with a friend who was also an experienced boater. Other people on the river assisted in locating Page and pulled him to the shore. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office is still trying to locate and recover Page’s kayak and dry bag from the river. The kayak is orange and has a light blue Pegasus sticker on the front. The dry bag may contain Page’s cell phone and personal items, which will be returned to his family. Rafting companies and law enforcement agencies down river have been notified and asked to notify the Grand County Sheriff’s Office if anything is located. Communication is key in this situation because someone unaware of the body recovery may think there is someone missing if they see an empty kayak floating down the river. The Sheriff’s office has contacted other counties as well in the event that the kayak travels outside of Grand County down the Colorado River. Anyone with any information regarding Page’s personal property is asked to contact Lt. Dan Mayer at 970-531-1776.
The death is a critical reminder of how important river safety is. Page was very experienced in whitewater, and his unfortunate accident is an admonition that there is no such thing as being too cautious, especially in rapids like the ones in Gore Canyon. Though it does not appear that Page or the boaters he was with made any mistakes during this incident, safety reminders are always good: Never boat alone; always have other members of your party setting safety at rapids of higher risk; have other members ready with throw ropes as each person navigates their way through the rapid; and be familiar with the rapids in Gore, or be with someone who is familiar.
This was the second death in Gore Canyon this season, though the two incidents are very different.
Authorities located the body of a missing kayaker on Saturday, July 23 near the “Applesauce” and “Fisherman’s Nightmare” rapids in Gore Canyon. The body was identified as Patrick “Mac” Maccormick Kelsall, 19, of Avon. Kelsall, however was not in his kayak when he went missing, and it was determined that he fell in the water at night while his friend was out collecting firewood. According to a press release, the entire search and recovery encompassed 1,088 official work hours and included the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Search and Rescue, Summit County Water Rescue, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Mountain Rescue, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Flight for Life. Some of Kelsall’s family and friends were also included into a supplementary ground searches and kayak searches of the river.
Gore Canyon was flowing at 1,090 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of Thursday, Aug. 15.
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