Kayak Guide Dies Trying to Rescue Client in Yellowstone Lake
A Utah man died Wednesday after trying to rescue a capsized kayaker on Yellowstone Lake.
Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was working as a kayak guide. He tried to rescue a client whose kayak overturned; the client was later rescued by other guides in the kayaking group.
According to a news release from Yellowstone National Park, the incident occurred in the West Thumb area of the lake. Rangers received a call through the park's dispatch center and responded to the area in a patrol boat.
They found Conant in the water and got him into the boat, where they immediately started CPR while heading back to the dock. CPR continued as Conant was taken in an ambulance to the helipad in Grant Village, about half a mile from the dock.
Life Flight landed to assist, but Conant was pronounced dead before takeoff.
The client was taken to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia. The incident remains under investigation.
Conant was in his first season as a guide for Oars, a company based out of Angel Camp, California. The company has offered non-motorized boat tours in Yellowstone under a permit since 1996.
Since 1894, 41 people have died in Yellowstone Lake. Most recently, two people died while canoeing in 1997.
The average year-round temperature of the lake is 43 F. Survival time in water of that temperature is estimated to be only 20-30 minutes.
"Our hearts are with the Conant family after this terrible loss," Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a statement Thursday.