Woman drowns after falling into Colorado River

The Tennessee woman was on a trip at Grand Canyon National Park

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A woman died over the weekend in Grand Canyon National Park after falling into the Colorado River.

The agency said Monday that, at approximately 2 p.m. local time on Saturday, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report of a passenger on a commercial river trip who had fallen into the Colorado River. Commercial guides were able to reach the 47-year-old woman, Sheetal Patel, by boat. 

The guides pulled her from the Colorado River and began CPR. 

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Search and rescue personnel from the park responded and assisted with efforts to resuscitate Patel. 

"All attempts to resuscitate the individual were unsuccessful," the statement said. "Park rangers were flown into the location by the park helicopter and pronounced the individual deceased."

View looking east and up the Colorado River from Pipe Creek Beach.

View looking east and up the Colorado River from Pipe Creek Beach. (NPS file photo/M. Quinn)

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner. 

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Patel, originally of Chicago and Chattanooga, Tennessee, was cooling off along Pipe Creek Beach when she was caught by the river's current. 

She hiked into the canyon to meet the river trip at Phantom Ranch and was starting a multi-day boating trip. 

"Before heading down trail, hikers are strongly encouraged to read the Hiking Tips page and check the Backcountry Updates and Closures page for current information on inner canyon conditions," the park said. 

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"All visitors to Grand Canyon should ensure they are drinking plenty of fluids, resting in shade during the heat of the day, watching for signs of distress in traveling companions, and dressing appropriately for the weather, which includes light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. The NPS does not recommend hiking from the rim to the river and back in one day," it noted.