Steamboat boaters rescue Avon couple on Upper Colorado River | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat boaters rescue Avon couple on Upper Colorado River

Upper Colorado River in June 2016.

A couple from Avon is very grateful after being rescued by a group of Steamboat boaters on the Upper Colorado River.

Markus Klett and his wife, Kelly, were on the river Saturday when their boat capsized near a feature known as Yarmony Rapid.

"We knew it wasn't going to be a good situation," Steamboat boater Greg Landos said.

Landos was with Ryan Doughty in a boat resting in an eddy.

Both are certified in swift water rescue, and they noticed the Avon couple was older, and they did not have their personal flotation devices zipped up.

"These people were not prepared for what they were getting into," Landos said.

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Another raft was nearby with Steamboat residents Mike Giordano and Flavia Flores.

Even before the Avon couple reached the rapid, Landos and Doughty headed that way anticipating a rescue, and Doughty jumped into his kayak.

"We knew it wasn't going to be a good situation," Landos said. "They went down so fast."

"We kept getting pulled under and banged around while losing body heat rapidly," Markus Klett wrote in a letter to the editor he sent to the Steamboat Pilot & Today to thank his rescuers, whose identity was a mystery at the time.

The Steamboat boaters pulled the couple to safety.

"Without them, we would not be alive," Klett said. "Although I am a very strong swimmer, I got very weak due to hypothermia and my wife swallowed a lot of water."

Doughty said he was happy to see the couple survived.

"I just happened to be at the right place at the right time," Doughty said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland