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Rafters rescued in WR Canyon

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Public Safety > Rapid change in weather caught trio unexpectedly Saturday

By Tris DeRoma

Three rafters out for a leisurely expedition on the Rio Grande got more than they expected when the weather dramatically changed in the middle of their trip.
When the weather went from pleasant to freezing rain in a matter of hours, the youngest, a 10-year-old girl, apparently forgot to bring extra clothing and shoes, and that’s where their troubles began.
“It started to rain, then freeze, so we pulled the raft onto the bank, and made a lean-to to try and keep warm,” said Frank Quiales, 45.
Things got even more complicated when the other adult in the group, Chris McCury, 34, began to suffer from a bad knee and slight paralysis in one of his legs.
The rescue call came in around 1 p.m. Saturday.
Incident Command was set up at the Red Dot trailhead on Piedra Loop, with police and fire rescue units responding.
All three refused medical treatment, although McCury had to be flown out of White Rock Canyon by a Life Flight helicopter to Overlook Park because of his condition.
Though a little thirsty and tired, all three are expected to make a full recovery from their ordeal.
Quiales is from Colorado and McCury is from Rio Rancho. The girl said she was visiting from North Carolina.


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