Woman Dead After Falling Into Rapids at Grand Canyon National Park

CPR was performed on the woman, who fell in the rapids during a private boating trip at the Grand Canyon, but she was ultimately pronounced dead.

The Colorado River flows by the historic Navajo Bridge.

The Colorado River flows by the historic Navajo Bridge.

The Colorado River flows by the historic Navajo Bridge.

A woman died after apparently falling into the rapids at the Grand Canyon during a private boating trip last week, NBC News reports.  

National Park Service said the Grand Canyon National Park was made aware of an emergency by a personal beacon while the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report about CPR in progress Thursday morning. A helicopter carrying park rangers was flown to the location of the incident which was near Hance Rapid on the Colorado River. 

Mary Kelley, 68, had reportedly fallen into the water and those aboard the boat were able to pull her out before realizing she was unresponsive. CPR was performed on Kelley as the rangers arrived. Further resuscitation efforts were taken, but were proven unsuccessful. 

The Coconino County medical examiner is looking into the cause of death while the National Park Service has launched an investigation into the incident. It’s unclear if Kelley had been wearing a life vest when she fell into the water. 

The tragic news of a hiker who fell 50 feet to their death at the Grand Canyon in Sept. 2021 marked the 18th death in the area that year alone. There are, on average, 12 deaths per year at the Grand Canyon. The most common cause of death tends to be due to the environment where overheating and drowning can occur. Around 275 people have died while flying over the area, but the infamous mid-air collision of 1956 claimed the lives of 128 passengers and left no survivors. 

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