Body Recovered from Clear Creek Reservoir
Community Grieves Loss of Teen
Divers recovered a body in the water at Clear Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area on Monday following a two-day search triggered by witness reports that a teenaged boy was missing after the canoe he and a friend were paddling had capsized. The remains were turned over to the Chaffee County Coroner’s office. The coroner will determine a cause of death and make formal identification of the victim.
The following information was released by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Agency via a press release to media outlets:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call Saturday evening around 5 p.m. and initiated a search-and-rescue at the 407-acre lake, located 15 miles north of Buena Vista (LT Note: just south of Granite off Highway 24), after a witness called authorities to report two boys had been tossed in the water when their canoe flipped following a day of duck hunting.
The father of one of the boys arrived about the same time as CPW officers and swam out toward the boat. He was able to grab one of the boys. But he struggled trying to get back to shore in the 33-degree water and swimming against 20 mph winds. CPW Officers Kevin Madler and Zach Baker entered the water to save both the man and boy.
But they were unable to find the other boy in the boat. CPW River Rangers from the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) and Lake Pueblo State Park (LPSP) soon arrived with jet skis and a rescue boat and initiated a search, criss-crossing the water with sonar equipment until about 4 a.m. Sunday.
They were joined by the CPW Marine Evidence Recovery Team (MERT) from Littleton which uses an underwater drone equipped with sonar, lights and video camera. The team resumed the search Sunday morning and worked until dark. The search continued Monday and the MERT unit located the remains at about 12:30 p.m. in water 25 feet deep and about 270 yards off shore.
Divers from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team recovered the body.
“We offer our condolences to the family of this young man,” said Jim Aragon, CPW Area Wildlife Manager for the region. “We hate seeing a life lost so tragically. This was a terrible accident.”
Jim Aragon, CPW Area Wildlife Manager praised all the agencies that contributed to the search and rescue including:
- Chaffee County Sheriff’s Department
- Buena Vista Police Department
- Lake County Search and Rescue
- Pueblo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue dive team
- Summit County Search and Rescue canine unit
- Colorado State Patrol
- Chaffee County EMS
- Chaffee County Search and Rescue North
The CPW team including officers of Area 13, rangers from the AHRA and Lake Pueblo and the MERT team from Littleton. Aragon also thanked all the members of the Buena Vista community who rallied around the family of the missing youth and provided food and support to the first responders who worked around the clock trying to rescue and recover the victim.
Matchless Mine Gets Hoist Help
Rehabilitation of the No. 6 hoist house and blacksmith shop at the historic Matchless Mine in Leadville, Colorado was successfully completed early in October. With a $104,332 grant from the History Colorado State Historical Fund and a $29,000 grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation on behalf of the Climax-Area Community Investment Fund, staff and volunteers from HistoriCorps, as well as subcontractors, stabilized the structure so that it can withstand Lake County’s intense weather.
Many activities occurred. Soil was excavated from around all four sides of the building to relieve external pressure on the walls and improve drainage by moving water away from the structure. A concrete retaining wall and French drain were built between the blacksmith shop and Baby Doe’s cabin. Rotten wood at the base of the walls was removed and replaced by new wood cut to size. The roof was stripped and then covered with a layer of waterproof material before the corrugated metal was replaced. Recent plywood walls in the blacksmith shop were removed. One was replaced by rough-cut lumber and another was not replaced to provide more space for visitors.
The project faced some unanticipated complications, beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it uncertain the work would happen this year. Thanks to HistoriCorps’ safety protocols and closing the mine to visitors in mid-August, that problem was overcome. Then, it was discovered that the metal forge in the blacksmith shop had rusted away on the side facing the exterior walls and could not be salvaged. It was replaced by a replica similar in size and design. Finally, Lake County was hit by snowy weather most of Labor Day week, forcing the first group of HistoriCorps volunteers to shiver as they labored.
The Matchless Mine is currently closed for the season. It is scheduled to reopen for tours around Memorial Day of 2021.
Thanks Team 80461