UPDATE: Mitch Christiansen's body recovered

Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 12:04 PM

——- UPDATED POST, 12:04 P.M., FRIDAY——-

Colorado State Parks released the following statement regarding the recovery of Mitch Christiansen's body:

Body of Missing Boater at Eleven Mile Reservoir Recovered

LAKE GEORGE, Colo. — The body of a boater missing since Sunday morning at Eleven Mile Reservoir was recovered early Friday by members of the Hartsel Fire & Rescue Dive Team. The Park County Deputy Coroner identified the victim as Mitch Christiansen. Christiansen’s wife Susan also died in the accident and was recovered on Sunday morning shortly after boaters reported seeing her body and a capsized boat near a rock outcrop on the park’s northeast corner. The two had been boating late Saturday afternoon or early Sunday morning at the large reservoir in central Colorado. State Park officials have not found anyone who witnessed the accident and continue to investigate its cause and timing.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Mitch and Susan Christiansen during this difficult time” said park manager Kevin Tobey. Staff from Denver Water, the Hartsel Fire & Rescue Dive Team, Park County Search and Rescue, the Park County Coroner’s Office, the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado, South Park Ambulance, the State Parks’ Littleton-based Public Safety and Training Unit, Eleven Mile State Park, and individual volunteers assisted in the intensive six day search which was often hampered by high wind and rough waters. Search efforts covered a wide area of forested, rocky terrain on land and an expansive area on the reservoir in an effort to find Christiansen, since no one was able to provide eye-witness accounts of where the accident initially occurred or where he was last seen.
“We’d like to extend special thanks to everyone involved in the search and recovery effort. While we wish the outcome were different, the volunteers and employees spent long hours for nearly a week to locate Mr. Christiansen. Alerts from three highly trained search dogs with Search & Rescue Dogs of Colorado, an image created by side-scanning sonar and the willingness of the Hartsel Fire & Rescue Dive Team to dive in deep water at this high elevation reservoir were absolutely critical to the recovery effort” stated Tobey.
Neither victim was wearing a life jacket when recovered. “Children 12 and under are required to wear life jackets on boats. Although adults are not required to wear their life jackets, this tragic accident serves as a reminder for boaters to wear them—especially when waters are rough and in cold water, characteristic of many of Colorado’s reservoirs through much of the year. It is very hard to put a life jacket on properly once you are in the water even in the best of conditions. It is not known if life jackets would have saved either victim, but they certainly would have kept them afloat,” said Tobey. Colorado State offers Boating Safely in Colorado courses for a nominal fee. For more information, please visit http://www.parks.state.co.us/boating.

——- UPDATED POST, 11:18 A.M., FRIDAY——-

The body of former mayoral candidate Mitch Christiansen has reportedly been recovered from Eleven Mile Reservoir.

Searchers had been looking for the body since Sunday, when the body of Sue Christiansen, Mitch's wife, was discovered near the couple's capsized fishing boat. It's thought that the boat capsized during windy weather.

More bad weather hampered the search for Christiansen's body this week. Reportedly, he was not wearing a life jacket. Christiansen's body was found in a rocky area.

The Christiansen family planned a memorial service for the couple before Mitch Christiansen's body was located, after several days of searching had failed to locate him.


——- UPDATED POST, 3:34 P.M., TUESDAY——-

The search at Eleven Mile Reservoir for a man presumed to be former mayoral candidate Mitch Christiansen will continue tomorrow.

Christiansen's wife, Sue Christiansen, drowned after the couple's fishing boat capsized over the weekend. Her body has been recovered. The search for Mitch Christiansen, who is thought to have drowned as well, as been hampered by bad weather.

The search was called off late yesterday, and again this afternoon. It will resume tomorrow.

Search at Eleven Mile State Park Will Resume Wednesday

DENVER — The search for a boater missing at Eleven Mile State Park in Park County will resume on Wednesday. On Tuesday, snow and rough water ended the search at about 1:10 p.m.
A capsized boat and the body of one boater were found Sunday, but an extensive land and water search through Tuesday failed to locate the second boater.
David Kintz Jr., the Park County Coroner, has identified the drowning victim as Susan Christiansen of Colorado Springs and the family has been notified. Kintz said Susan Christiansen had gone boating with her husband, Mitch Christiansen.
The Eleven Mile State Park staff, members of the State Parks’ Public Safety and Training Unit, based in Littleton, the Hartsel Fire Department, the Park County Coroner and the Park County Sheriff’s office have been assisting in the search.
The search is focused on the east side of the reservoir, near where the capsized boat was found. In that area of the reservoir, there are boulders and sheer drops in the water of up to 85 feet, which makes searching difficult. A boat from Eleven Mile State Park, equipped with sonar, has been searching the water along with a vessel, equipped with a specially designed and powerful sonar device, from the State Parks’ Public Safety and Training Unit.

# # #

——- UPDATED POST, 5:20 P.M., MONDAY——-

Officials have confirmed that the drowning victim whose body was recovered from Eleven Mile Reservoir over the weekend was Sue Christiansen, wife of former mayoral candidate Mitch Christiansen.

It is thought that the couple was boating together when their aluminum motorized boat capsized. It's unclear when the accident happened, though wind gusts reached up to 40 miles per hour on Saturday, driving many off the water.

A search for the body of the boat's second passenger, presumably Mitch Christiansen, was called off this afternoon due to inclement weather but is expected to resume tomorrow.

Colorado State Parks
CONTACT: Deb Frazier, (303) 866-3203, ext. 4342
This news advisory is also available at www.parks.state.co.us

For immediate release: May 23, 2011


Search at Eleven Mile State Park Will Continue Tuesday for Missing Boater

DENVER — The search for a boater missing at Eleven Mile State Park in Park County will continue Tuesday. A capsized boat and the body of one boater were found Sunday, but an extensive search on Monday failed to locate the second boater.

David Kintz Jr., the Park County Coroner, identified the drowning victim as Susan Christiansen of Colorado Springs and the family has been notified. Kintz said Susan Christiansen had gone boating with her husband, Mitch Christiansen.

The Eleven Mile State Park staff, members of the State Parks’ Public Safety and Training Unit, based in Littleton, the Hartsel Fire Department, the Park County Coroner and the Park County Sheriff’s office assisted in the search on Monday. A boat from Eleven Mile State Park, equipped with sonar, searched the water along with a vessel, equipped with a specially designed and powerful sonar device, from the Public Safety and Training Unit.

The search is focused on the east side of the reservoir, near where the capsized boat was found. In that area, there are boulders and sheer drops in the water of up to 85 feet, which makes searching difficult.

“Everyone at Colorado State Parks would like to comfort the family at this tragic time and we want them to know we will continue the search,” said Kevin Tobey, Eleven Mile State Park Manager.

# # #

——- ORIGINAL POST, 2:49 P.M., MONDAY ——-

Mitch and Susan
  • Mitch and Susan
There has been no confirmation, and so the media and the public have been left to wonder about the fate of former mayoral hopeful Mitch Christiansen and his wife, Susan.

What is clear is that a boat with two people in it capsized in high winds in the reservoir at Eleven Mile Canyon State Park in South Park on Sunday. One of the people in the boat, identified as a woman named Susan Christiansen, of Colorado Springs, drowned. Her body has been recovered. The search is still on for her companion, who was reportedly her husband.

Given that Susan Christiansen is the name of mayoral candidate Mitch Christiansen's wife, it is assumed by many that the accident involved Mitch and Susan.

Colorado State Parks

NEWS ADVISORY

CONTACT: Deb Frazier, (303) 866-3203, ext. 4342


For immediate release: May 23, 2011

Search Continues at Eleven Mile State Park for Missing Boater

DENVER — The search continued Monday at Eleven Mile State Park in Park County for a missing boater. A capsized boat was found Sunday and the body of another boater was recovered.

David Kintz Jr., the Park County Coroner, identified the drowning victim as Susan Christiansen of Colorado Springs and the family has been notified. The identity of the missing boater has not been released, but Kintz said Susan Christiansen had gone boating with her husband.

The Eleven Mile State Park staff, members of the Hartsel Fire Department and the Park County Sheriff’s office have searched the shoreline Monday. A Colorado State Parks’ boat, equipped with sonar, and a second boat with sonar from Littleton Fire Rescue’s Water Rescue unit are searching the east side of the reservoir in a grid pattern.

Kevin Tobey, the park manager, will hold a news briefing Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the park office to update the media on the search.

Comments (1)

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Mitch and Sue will be missed in this world! Mitch's passion for this City will also be missed as well! I ask that you take time and pray for the Family in this time of grief. A tragedy such as this should make us all reflect upon our next life in eternity. I recently had spoken with Sue and Mitch at the Pikes Peak Center when we sat together and I know that they both were right with the Lord and had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. I know that Mitch and Sue would ask, are you prepared as they were for that Maranatha (O Lord Come) moment?

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Posted by TFBR on 05/28/2011 at 10:05 AM
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