A man who suffered a heart attack Sunday after a rafting trip on the Upper Animas River is expected to survive thanks to the efforts of emergency responders.
Alex Mickel, owner of Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Tours, said a commercial trip on the Upper Animas ended successfully and safely Sunday.
The typical Upper Animas run requires transport both in and out of river access points from the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, starting at the Needleton stop and ending at the Tacoma Power Plant. It features Class 4 and 5 rapids, at the upper end of the scale.
Mickel said that after the trip, while customers were on shore waiting to be picked up by the train, a man went into cardiac arrest. Mild to Wild guides immediately began CPR, he said.
Christian Robbins, spokesman for the D&SNG, said the 466 locomotive was approaching the group as scheduled around 5 p.m. when railroad staff were alerted the man was still unresponsive after several minutes of CPR.
One of the D&SNG’s fire staff responded and took an AED defibrillator and was able to revive the man, Robbins said. A Flight for Life helicopter then landed and took the man to a hospital for further treatment.
“We’re extremely proud of our crew,” Robbins said.
Mickel said the man was fully coherent by the time the helicopter took off for the hospital.
“We’re just thankful he’s doing well and recovering,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”