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Ranger who died while patrolling Horsetooth Reservoir is ID'd

Post By: fishman1      Posted: 8/21/2020 7:40:47 PM     Points: 20932    
The body of a Larimer County Department of Natural Resources ranger was pulled from Horsetooth Reservoir early Friday morning after an hours-long overnight search.
Brendan Unitt, 27, of La Salle died due to accidental drowning, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office reported late Friday afternoon.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said it received a report at 9:18 p.m. Thursday that a ranger was missing after strong winds struck Horsetooth Reservoir.
The ranger’s boat was found on the water, but Unitt, who was on boat patrol, could not be found, which prompted a massive search that included boats, drones, divers and a helicopter.
Unitt’s body was recovered from the water about 3:30 a.m., according to a sheriff's office release Friday morning. Initial reports indicated the search was focused on the area near the Rotary Park parking lot on the east shore of the reservoir, PFA said during the search. The sheriff's office release did not say in what area of the reservoir the ranger's body was located.

RIP Ranger Unitt
 Reply by: footmaster      Posted: Aug. 21, 8:36:59 PM     Points: 9    
Sad news RIP
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: Aug. 21, 10:15:03 PM     Points: 22936    
I live just east of the reservoir and saw all the sheriff cars, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles pass by last night.Very sad news about the ranger's accident. That wind did howl from a passing thunderstorm right after dark.
 Reply by: nparker      Posted: Aug. 22, 12:24:28 PM     Points: 2047    
Very tragic. I wonder if he had a PFD on? I see the wind was gusting to 30 MPH about 9 PM Thursday but could have been more.
 Reply by: Dan Swanson      Posted: Aug. 23, 9:06:25 AM     Points: 1377    
Every ranger I’ve encountered on boat patrol at Horsetooth always is wearing a pfd.
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: Aug. 23, 2:10:30 PM     Points: 0    
I live by Prospect & Taft Hill in F.C. My bud & I fish the Tooth Tues., Thur., & Fri. evevnings. Also fish it Mon. & Wed. mornings. We launched at 6:30 that night, fished for a bit, then scouted for awhile. Little rain, lightning far west of the foothills but the weather map map was favorable, so we put line down again before dark. We were approx. 200 yds. off mid point west side. The ranger passed us heading north earlier. The wind happened right after sunset, 8:45 is our recolection. Three ft. whitecaps & gusting at least 35 mph. Not good. Rangers always wear a PFD but also deal with the weight of a billitproof vest under it. I feel so badly for the ranger, his friends, & family. My heart goes out. I think of what ifs. Dark moon, him being alone, etc. Be safe all...
 Reply by: nparker      Posted: Aug. 24, 8:33:44 AM     Points: 2047    
Officials say that he did not have a PFD on when he drowned. They speculate that he took it off to swim out to get his boat that had been blown out from shore. If this is true it is the second case I know of in Horsetooth were this has happened. The other boater was not a ranger and this happened several years ago. Let me go if they get loose.
 Reply by: ScottyK      Posted: Aug. 24, 8:38:11 AM     Points: 139    
Watch the state to deny death benefits to that poor guy since he wasnt wearing his pfd.. I bet $ on it...
 Reply by: Dan Swanson      Posted: Aug. 24, 4:39:31 PM     Points: 1377    
Not a state employee
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Aug. 24, 4:45:32 PM     Points: 2352    
Is this report factual, or “hearsay”, and who are the “officials” you are referring to? Just curious if there was an official press release from the Sherrif?

My condolences and prayers to Ranger Unitt’s family and friends.
 Reply by: jdavis      Posted: Aug. 24, 4:57:08 PM     Points: 118    
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: Aug. 24, 5:05:02 PM     Points: 0    
Because my freind and I are up there 3 nights a wk. usually til 11pm, sometimes 2am, I have a hard time understanding why the "last" ranger on the late shift is always alone. He or she will go in about 9 to 9:30 pm. Fishing the Tooth late, since early spring, we have had all kinds of adverse weather roll in. This is a Larimer County issue that needs to be addressed by the powers to be. A lot of really stupid, sensless, & thoughtless things happen all day & night up there. Too much trafic on the lake, even after dark, to expect ONE ranger to control ALONE! I would emplore everyone to lay it on Larimer County to ensure safety for ALL....Just Saying....
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Aug. 24, 6:08:11 PM     Points: 2352    
jdavis,
Thank you for the link. Tragic indeed.


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