Rafting Accident Over The Weekend Below Hayden Arch Bridge Leaves 3 Shaken | Big Horn Basin Media

Rafting Accident Over The Weekend Below Hayden Arch Bridge Leaves 3 Shaken

Written by on June 17, 2024

Scary moments for a group of three rafters happened on Sunday afternoon as their raft flipped on the Shoshone River, depositing all three men in the river.

The Park County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call from a caller who had been rafting in the Shoshone Canyon downstream of Hayden Arch Bridge on Sunday around 3:30PM. The party had purchased a raft from a local store that afternoon and decided to raft the section of whitewater below Hayden Arch Bridge.

That part of the river is currently flowing at 4,500 cubic feet per second (cfs).

As the party made their way down the river, the raft flipped over in the rapids. Two people from the rafting party were able to get to the shore on the south side of the river while a third subject disappeared and was unaccounted for, according to one rafter, according to a media release from the Park County Sheriff’s office.

Ultimately, the third person drifted with the current downstream, being swept through the rapid named “Iron Curtain” and was able to swim to a small cave on the north side of the river

Park County Search and Rescue (PCSAR), along with Park County Sheriff Deputies and Cody Regional Health EMS personnel were dispatched to the scene. PCSAR members were able to find the third person and gained access to the subject via the road on the north side of the canyon, immediately deploying two swift water rescue members to contact the person.

Coincidentally, there was a group of four highly experienced local kayakers making a portage around the Iron Curtain rapid which is not safely runnable at these water flows.

PCSAR immediately started give aid to the stranded subject, and assisted with getting him into a personal flotation device or PFD, dry clothes, and a harness on him. Once the the man was safely secured to a rope system, PCSAR rope team members raised him approximately 150 feet to the road where he was turned over to EMS staff. The man who floated down through the rapids suffered from hypothermia and was assessed by Cody Regional Health EMS.

He subsequently refused transport to the hospital for further evaluation.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind residents and visitors alike to be aware of the dangers present in the area and to reach out to a knowledgeable resource for conducting safe outdoor activities.

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