River claims Valley visitor

CREEDE — Albuquerque man Kenneth Vandermey, 78, died on Tuesday after falling from his boat into the Rio Grande.

According to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office Vandermey and his wife were camping in the Creede area and went for a fishing/float trip down the Rio Grande on May 30. At approximately 12:30 p.m., Vandermey, who was standing in the boat, was knocked out of the boat as it passed under an overhanding tree branch above Fern Creek Road Bridge. He was not wearing a life vest.

A 911 call placed by his wife was followed by response from Mineral County Search and Rescue and EMS.

The current high, fast waters of the Rio Grande carried him two miles downstream, where he was found at 2:28 p.m. by the Mineral County Search and Rescue Swiftwater Team. Mineral County Coroner Charles Downing pronounced Vandermey deceased at 3:23 p.m. on Tuesday. His family has been notified.

Official cause of death is pending autopsy at El Paso County Coroner’s Office.



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