Edward Lowe, owner of Dallas’ Celebration Restaurant, was visiting Boquillas Canyon on a five-day canoeing trip on the Rio Grande when he reportedly fell from an embankment while scouting a campsite downstream. Two members of Lowe’s party canoed upstream to alert park officials, who were able to recover his body from the river with help from U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Lowe has had long-time involvement with the park before his death in Big Bend. In a 2014 interview with the magazine Edible Dallas & Fort Worth, Lowe said he was formerly a canoe guide in Big Bend while managing his restaurant. Lowe also formerly worked on river tours with local middle schoolers.
“I was a licensed guide in the Big Bend for several years for Texas Water Trails,” he said. “I like the outdoors and the environment, and our kids are very important so I’ve put a good bit of effort toward those areas.”
A fall-related death in Big Bend is not a common occurrence, according to park officials, despite the popularity of camping, river activities, and hikes to the surrounding bluffs. The last fatal fall was in 2016 when a park visitor fell to his death while on a cliff above the Rio Grande.
The park’s website offers a list of regulations to follow for Rio Grande river use, including safety tips about river speeds and what to do in emergency situations.