Guide tried to save kayaker |

Guide tried to save kayaker

Steve Lynn
Vail Daily

Paul Killino immediately started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a man he saw floating down the Colorado River ‹ but it was too late.

Killino did chest compressions as a woman gave mouth-to-mouth on the man, who showed no signs of life, Killino said. The woman, a nurse, and the man she was with continued to give the man CPR as they rafted the man to a boat ramp in Radium, Killino said.

“It was a valiant effort by a lot of people,” said Killino, an Edwards resident and Alpine River Outfitters guide who was leading a fly-fishing trip at the time.

Justin Brindley, 30, of Boulder, who was running the Colorado River in an inflatable kayak, drowned last Friday afternoon in Lower Gore Canyon near Radium.

Brindley was pronounced dead after being flown by Flight for Life to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. He was boating with a larger group, but authorities say there were no witnesses to the accident.

After talking to witnesses, Killino learned that after Brindley fell out of his kayak, people saw him get out of the river. But somehow, Brindley ended back in the water, Killino said.

Killino thinks Brindley might have slipped and fallen, hitting his head at some point. But no one Killino has talked to knows what exactly happened.

“It’s a shame,” Killino said.

Killino gave his condolences to Brindley’s family and friends. He wonders if rescuers could have saved Brindley’s life if anyone had seen the accident.

“I’m very disappointed we couldn’t have got to him sooner,” Killino said.

Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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