On August 20, 2020, Larimer County Natural Resource ranger Brendan Unitt drowned while on duty on Horsetooth Reservoir.

The most likely scenario, according to Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, is that on August 20, 2020, 27-year-old Ranger Unitt had beached his patrol boat on the shore near Rotary Park so that he could go and check on campsites in the area.

At about that time, he was needed to assist other rangers rescue boaters near Soldier Canyon Dam. As he went to his boat strong winds took the boat out into the water. Unitt must have left his life vest on the shore knowing that it would inflate once he got into the water, making it impossible to reach the boat.

Without his vest, it is presumed that Unitt became distressed and was pulled under the water. Ranger Unitt's body was found at 3 a.m. the following morning.

Larimer County Sheriff's Office

At 6 p.m. on August 20, 2021, to mark the one-year anniversary of Ranger Unitt's tragic death, the public is invited to line the shores of Horsetooth Reservoir to observe a boat procession of remembrance that will travel from South Bay to Rotary Park.


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