Dogs to help in effort to find missing Breckenridge raft guide on Arkansas River |

Dogs to help in effort to find missing Breckenridge raft guide on Arkansas River

Robert Allen
summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – An off-duty Breckenridge raft guide who was ejected into the Arkansas River on Sunday remained missing Thursday afternoon, and dogs are among resources to be added to search efforts today.

Kimberly Appelson, 23, was on a boat with four other passengers when it high-sided and she fell into the river near a dangerous underwater hazard.

Stew Pappenfort, senior ranger at Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, said Wednesday that searching for a missing rafter has never been this difficult.

“We’ve hit a wall here and exhausted local resources,” he said Thursday, adding that dogs, more cameras and searchers from neighboring counties are to join the effort.

Appelson was ejected at the Frog Rock rapid about 2 miles north of Buena Vista. The segment of river has been flowing at less than 700 cubic feet per second this week.

Nearby signs warn that below 1,000 cfs, there is danger of entrapment. An underwater sieve – which works like a narrow tunnel of rocks funneling water and creating higher pressures – is known for causing fatalities.

At least six people have died there since 1990, with the most recent two deaths occurring on a trip in 2001.

Appelson was wearing a life jacket but no helmet. Other raft occupants included Rebecca Webb, 26 of Fort Collins; Matthew Weber, 25 of Fort Collins; Kyle Blakley, 23 of Boulder; and Jared Perrio, 24 of Lafayette, La., according to a report in the Mountain Mail, a Salida newspaper.

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