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Salt Lake City Fire Captain identified as man killed in Green River rafting accident

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jun 28, 2024

DINOSAUR, Colo. — A 27-year veteran with the Salt Lake City Fire Department has been identified as the man killed on Colorado's Green River in a rafting accident in Dinosaur National Monument.

Capt. Michael Harp was on a private permitted trip on the river when staff members were notified of a boat pinned on a rock in the Hells Half Mile rapids, a class III/IV rapid.

Harp, 54, was found to be missing from the raft and believed to be under the watercraft. When the group was later able to secure the boat, Harp was discovered unresponsive before he drifted downriver without a lifejacket that had come off.

Recovery efforts began through the Canyon of Lodore where the accident occurred. On Friday morning, a commercial rafting company said it had found Harp's body 10 miles downstream from the accident site.

Harp followed after his father and was a second generation firefighter. He served in Utah Task Force 1 and was deployed to Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

"Captain Michael Harp dedicated his life to the service of not only the citizens of Salt Lake City, but also his fellow firefighters," the department wrote. "His legacy of service, leadership, compassion, and contagious laughter will forever be remembered by all who knew him."