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Man missing on Poudre River after rafting incident

Update: The missing rafter was identified as David L. Smith in a Facebook post by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Sunday night. He was reportedly wearing blue jeans and no shirt when he went missing.

The search for Smith was called off at 3 p.m. on Sunday and no further large-scale searches are planned unless more information on the man’s location comes to light, according to the Facebook post. 


On Saturday, June 29 shortly before 2:30 p.m., the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report that a rafter was separated from his group in the Cache La Poudre River and was later determined to be missing.

According to the press release on the incident, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services, Larimer County Dive Rescue Team, Larimer County Search and Rescue, Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District, Poudre Fire Authority, the U.S. Forest Service, UC Health, Life Line and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies were sent to the area to search for the 57-year-old Fort Collins man. The search was suspended at approximately 7:40 p.m., but the search continued on Sunday morning.

Three rafters had been between mile markers 107 and 108 near Highway 14 when their inflatable raft was swept out from under them. Two of the rafters managed to swim out of the river but the remaining rafter reportedly did not return to shore with them. The man was not wearing a flotation device or rafting helmet.

The other two rafters, a 46-year-old Fort Collins man and his 13-year-old son, suffered minor injuries after the incident. The 13-year-old boy was the only one wearing a life jacket.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at 970-416-1985.

Delaney Allen can be reached at or on Twitter @DelaneyAllen0.

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