Indian American woman swept away in Grand Canyon rapids

A Tennessee woman has died after falling into the water in Grand Canyon National Park and getting caught by the Colorado River’s swift current, authorities said.

Park officials said 47-year-old Sheetal Patel, originally from Chicago, Illinois, was cooling off the afternoon of June 11 along Pipe Creek Beach when the accident occurred.

According to a CBS News report, commercial guides were able to reach the woman by boat and tried to revive her. Rangers were flown into the location by a park helicopter and Patel was pronounced dead.

Park officials said Patel had hiked into the Grand Canyon to meet a multi-day commercial boating trip from Phantom Ranch. An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

A June 13, 2022, press release from the Grand Canyon National Park said, “On June 11, at approximately 2:00 p.m., 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 woman by boat. The commercial guides pulled her from the river and began CPR.”

The Park included the following warning in its press release: “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.”