Woman Rescued After Falling Into Fast-Moving Rapids While Rafting in Royal Gorge, Colorado

A woman was rescued by her tour group after she fell into fast-moving rapids, while whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River, in Colorado, on Saturday, May 27.

The woman was on a Performance Tours rafting trip, in the Sunshine Falls area of the Royal Gorge canyon, when she unexpectedly fell out of the raft.

Chris Dean, who pulled her out of the water, captured the dramatic incident as it unfolded on his GoPro.

“The water levels in the Arkansas River are really high this time of the year due to all of the snow melting,” Dean told Storyful.

“As soon as we went over the falls, we hit [the river] hard and the lady behind me fell into the water and was then going down the river in front of us,” he said.

“The guide (Greg) got us back on track and had us paddle towards her, and I was able to reach out to her with the T-handle end of my paddle and pull her to the raft where I could grab her.”

Dean explained that the tour guide had prepared the group before they started rafting on how to respond if someone fell into the water.

“We all knew what to do and everybody reacted how we were supposed to,” he said. Credit: Chris Dean via Storyful

Video transcript

- Right side, more [INAUDIBLE]. Right side four. All four.

Right side, [INAUDIBLE]. R2, you guys. R2.

[INAUDIBLE] R2. Everybody in the middle, R2. Go left, boy, go left.

R2, gang. R2. [INAUDIBLE] in your seat.


R2, you guys. Come on, R2. [INAUDIBLE], right here.

R2. [INAUDIBLE]. Let's go [INAUDIBLE]. Come on.


- Right side [INAUDIBLE].

- Let's go.


- Grab her, Chris.


- Go ahead, by her shoulders. Give her your paddle. Go ahead.

Haul her in. Let's go. Come on, Chris.

- Come on, lean back.

- [INAUDIBLE] forward one. Jessica, put the other paddle aside. Everybody else forward one.

Forward one. Go in the center of the boat. [INAUDIBLE] hold on, everybody. [INAUDIBLE] get over her. All back [INAUDIBLE]. All back [INAUDIBLE].


- All back [INAUDIBLE]. Chris, get on the outside [INAUDIBLE]. Right side.

Forward one. In the center there, Erica. You OK?

In the center. Everybody else, in their seat. Pay attention here. Forward two.


- Left side, forward one. [INAUDIBLE] grab that paddle, please. [INAUDIBLE]. You got it?


- [INAUDIBLE] to the right [INAUDIBLE]. Don't worry about it if you can't get it. [INAUDIBLE].

Forward two. Good. [INAUDIBLE].

Where's the paddle, guys? [INAUDIBLE] the center there.

The paddle, here we go. You all right?

- Yeah.

- Good job.

- Thank you guys.

- Right side [INAUDIBLE]. Left side, back two. Left side, back two. Right side, forward [INAUDIBLE]. Forward [INAUDIBLE], everybody.