Abandoned canoe investigated

Search and Rescue says it's likely lost property, not missing person case

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A canoe found overturned and tangled in brush along a stretch of the Yampa River is being treated as lost property, not a sign of a missing person or persons, according to Routt County Search and Rescue.

Search and Rescue team members were called to investigate an abandoned canoe stuck at a spot on the Yampa River directly behind Cook Chevrolet at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

Originally designated a possible whitewater rescue, two recreational kayakers, a Steamboat Springs Fire Department kayaker and a Routt County Search and Rescue kayaker were sent into the river to investigate the silver canoe.

The canoe was freed from thick growth and held by the kayakers until they were able to navigate the roughly 15-foot craft across the river to the opposite bank, where the canoe was hoisted onto dry ground.

Steamboat Springs Fire Department personnel searched the banks of the river for about one mile downstream, looking for bodies or other items that might have indicated the boat was occupied before becoming entangled in the brush, Search and Rescue team leader Leon Shupp said.

No persons or canoes were reported missing Sunday, Shupp said.

Straps attached to the canoe and wood found inside it indicate the boat probably was tied-up before being swept away by strong currents, Shupp said.

"There were straps all over it. We're pretty certain it was tied off someplace," he said. "At this point we're not real concerned there was somebody in it."

The canoe, with identification number IA 5650T in black letters on its side, was turned over to Steamboat Springs police as lost property, Shupp said.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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