River rescue 070419
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Photo courtesy Poudre Fire Authority.

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A man died on the Arkansas River Friday when the raft in which he was riding with four other people flipped over, raising this year's death toll on the state's snowmelt-swollen rivers to at least 11.

Nearby kayakers rescued the four other rafters but the man, whose name has not been released, was carried downstream.

Colorado and Arizona men killed while rafting, Louisiana woman swept away in stream

His body was recovered near Bear Creek Rapid by Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area rangers. 

Snowmelt has turned the state's rivers into raging torrents this year, providing a thrilling opportunity for rafters and kayakers and other water enthusiasts. But the high, fast-flowing waters have also created dangerous conditions that continue to claim lives.

Another man, Matthew Spates of Fort Collins, drowned Friday while tubing on the Poudre River, the Associated Press reported.

Eight others tubing with him were rescued. Spates was found in a tree in the river. He died after being flown to a hospital.

At least nine other deaths have been reported this year in Colorado rivers,  including a women who fell into the Rio Grande and a man who died in a rafting accident on Clear Creek.

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@JessySnouwaert

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Jessica is a 2019 intern at The Gazette. She is a Colorado native who is currently a student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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