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Kayak guide dies in Yellowstone Lake during rescue attempt on guided trip

Jun 16, 2017 - From wire reports

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS (AP) -- A kayak guide in his first season on the job in Yellowstone National Park has died while trying to rescue a park visitor who capsized on Yellowstone Lake.

Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, of Salt Lake City died Wednesday in the West Thumb area of the lake, according to the National Park Service.

Conant was among three guides on a kayaking excursion with a group of nine tourists.

Park rangers found Conant in the water and worked to revive him, but he was pronounced dead before he could be transported by helicopter to a hospital.

Park officials say the client whom Conant attempted to save was rescued by other guides in the group and was treated for hypothermia at a park clinic.

The incident is under investigation.

Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said the incident occurred about 400 yards off the west shore of the lake.

There was no unusual weather at the time of the incident, which occurred in the late afternoon when the lake often can become rough because of wind, Warthin said.

Warthin said the average year-round temperature of the lake is 43 degrees. It's likely cooler now because Yellowstone has just come out of its winter season. Some areas of the park received snow earlier this week.

The National Park Service was not releasing the name of the tourist involved, she said.

Conant worked for O.A.R.S., a company based out of Angels Camp, California, that has offered non-motorized boat tours in Yellowstone under a permit since 1996.

The company issued a statement late Thursday saying that Conant will be remembered as a hero by trying to save a 62-year-old client. It said Conant's kayak overturned during the rescue and he "spent a considerable amount of time in the cold water."

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