Stagecoach State Park employees have called off a search that was launched Monday after an overturned canoe was discovered in Stagecoach Reservoir.
Park Manager Mike Taylor said the occupants of the Red Coleman canoe, which was found upside down about 150 yards from shore in about 6 feet of water, have not been located. However, two hours into the search, a woman said she had given a ride Sunday night to two men who had been in the canoe.
The search involved a dive team, the Oak Creek Fire Department and the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
"State park officials are very alarmed when you have a report of an overturned boat and nobody around it," Taylor said. "These individuals could have saved a lot of time and effort on a bunch of good folks who came out to do the search."
About 8 a.m. Monday, a call was made to Routt County Dispatch that a canoe was floating upside down in the reservoir and nobody was with it. The boat was in the inlet on the south side of the reservoir.
The boat did not have a name or a registration number on it to identify the owner, Taylor said, and state park officials suspected the worst when they called out the Oak Creek Fire Department and dive teams.
About 10:30 a.m., a woman stopped by the search area and said she had picked up two men who were in the canoe the previous evening. She said she and her husband gave the men a ride back to their truck, which was parked in the state park's parking lot that night.
After the woman's report, state park officials called off the search. The scuba divers did go out to the boat and retrieve belongings and pulled the boat to shore.
Taylor said they do not know why the boat overturned and said they would love to talk to the owners, "mainly so we can determined what happened last night, what caused it to overturn," Taylor said.
The situation demonstrates the importance of having canoes and kayaks registered and to include identification on them, he said.
Earlier this spring, another canoe overturned, but no one was injured in that situation, either, Taylor said.
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