CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) — A search and rescue operation is underway for a Buena Vista high school student who went missing after the canoe he was riding in with a friend capsized as they were hunting ducks.
It happened late Saturday at Clear Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area in Chaffee County.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers said witnesses told them the two teens fell in the water when their canoe flipped in strong winds shortly before 5 p.m. The water is estimated to be 30 to 50 feet deep.
Two CPW officers found the mother of one boy and the father of the other on shore. The man swam out to the canoe and the officers helped as he rescued one of the boys, according to Jim Aragon, CPW Area Wildlife Manager for the region.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said they were not able to find the other boy in the frigid waters as darkness set in.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, river rangers from CPW's Arkansas Headwater Recreation Area in Salida and Chaffee County Sheriff’s deputies responded along with emergency medical personnel, according to a release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The specialized CPW Marine Evidence Recovery Team from Littleton and a CPW search team from Lake Pueblo State Park used an underwater drone equipped with sonar, lights and video camera to search for the missing teen.
Search and rescue teams continued to comb Clear Creek Reservoir until 4 a.m. Sunday. They briefly stopped and then resumed the search at sunrise.
The teens’ canoe washed ashore across the lake with other items. CPW said the mission has turned into a recovery effort.
Clear Creek Reservoir is a 407 acre impoundment at the mouth of Clear Creek and located about 15 miles north of Buena Vista just west of U.S. Highway 24. Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it is a popular fishing lake and offers deer, elk and waterfowl for hunting.