Kayaker who died on Eagle River identified as John Novak, 31, of Minturn

By Real Vail
Real AspenJune 26, 2011
A kayaker who died on the Eagle River Saturday afternoon near the Eagle County Fairgrounds was identified Sunday as 31-year-old John Novak of Minturn, according to Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis.

Novak was on a private, non-commercial river trip on the Eagle River with two friends, according to police. He was wearing a life preserver and helmet at the time of his death.

The cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is completed later this week, Bettis said.

Agencies assisting in the recovery of Novak included the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, Vail Mountain Rescue, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Gypsum Fire Protection District and the Western Eagle County Ambulance District.

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office is urging everyone to use extra caution in and around the valley's waterways as this is the time of year when rivers and streams are running high and fast, especially given last winter's record snowpack.

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