Zach Leyba a Grand Junction resident and firefigher rides his Badfish board on a wave in the Montrose Water Sports Park in Montrose Colo., Wednesday May 27, 2020. (William Woody, Special to the Colorado Sun)

GRAND JUNCTION — Authorities say two people died in separate river accidents in western Colorado.

Mesa County sheriff’s officials say six people were recreating on a paddleboard, a kayak and a raft on the Colorado River in Grand Junction when they encountered trouble near a bridge Wednesday afternoon. Five of the people were able to make their way to an island, but the paddleboarder remained missing.

Authorities launched a rescue boat, and the woman was found unconscious and not breathing. She died at a nearby hospital.

The coroner’s office identified her as 42-year-old Kimberly Moore, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The newspaper also reported that she had been on the paddleboard with a non-breakaway leash and was not wearing a life jacket, although there was a life jacket on the board.

Meanwhile, authorities recovered the body of a man Thursday who went missing the day before after falling into the Devil’s Punchbowl, a popular swimming and cliff jumping area on Independence Pass near Aspen.

The Aspen Daily News reports the man, identified as 63-year-old Steve Midlarsky of Florida, was fully clothed, suggesting the fall into the water was accidental.

The Associated Press

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