3 rafting deaths reported in Taos County this month

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Water levels have continued to rise all over New Mexico from melting snow and heavy rain.

There have been multiple rescues on the Rio Grande in the last few weeks, and deaths reported in northern areas of the state.

There have been three deaths in the month of June from river rafting in Taos, and just one of those deaths happened Wednesday.

“The family was boating,” Taos Fire Chief Eddie Abeyta said. “They took a spill up the river, about a mile or so, two miles from where we recovered the body.”

Rafting companies in Taos County said no matter how intense the water gets, they don’t close down shop. They are just more attentive to who they bring on board – looking at the skill level and age of people.

While they help assist with rescues, the Taos Fire Department said they cannot control shutting down the river either.

“There’s no way we can weigh in and say, yeah, it’s a red flag or it’s too high water or anything,” Abeyta said. “I don’t know if anyone has that power to do so.”

Rafting companies said the last time water levels reached heights like this was about four years ago.

Multiple rafting companies in Taos and the fire department said regardless of the water conditions, just don’t go out on the water alone.