thomas robinson
Images of Thomas Robinson, his dog, and his homemade raft. Credit: National Park Service

Body of Man Using Makeshift Raft Found in Grand Canyon

Authorities say 58-year-old Thomas Robinson and his dog went missing on April 21.

Authorities recovered the body of a man who tried to travel through the Grand Canyon via the Colorado River with his dog on a homemade raft. According to Monday's news release, the county medical examiner identified 58-year-old Thomas Robinson, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, after park rangers recovered his body near river mile six, which is located in the northeast portion of the park.

Authorities say Thomas went missing on April 21 after they found his vehicle abandoned at Lees Ferry within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The National Park Service has not released the cause of death or any other additional details, saying the incident is under investigation.

On average, about 12 people die each year in the Grand Canyon, which makes it one of the deadliest national parks in the country. Historically, the most common ways in which people die in the park are helicopter crashes, falls, environmental issues, and then drowning.

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In a recent public service announcement, the Park Service warned that exploring the Grand Canyon is not without risk due to the wild landscape and extreme environmental conditions. "Your safety is your responsibility," the agency said.