Although the entire ordeal lasted just a few minutes, by the the time family members had reached the mother and son, Chelsey was unconscious. Neither she nor her son had been wearing life jackets at the time of the incident.
Eventually Chelsey and her son were pulled back into the boat, at which point family members began performing CPR on her. The family reached the shore a short time later where attempts to resuscitate Chelsey continued, but she was pronounced dead shortly after.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office gave a little further explanation on social media as to why it took so long for the family to turn their boat around and pick Chelsey and the boy up.
"A significant distance developed between the mother and child and the houseboat before the houseboat could be shut down'.Deputies said Chelsey's brother even untied a smaller boat being towed by the houseboat so they could reach mother and son faster but by that time Chelsey was completely under water.
The two-year-old son was flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona, but has since been released.
The doting mother worked as a lawyer in Denver. The firm posted a statement in memory of Russell on its website Thursday:
'Chelsey was an amazing mother, an exceptional legal talent, an extraordinary athlete, a loyal and generous friend, and left us all better for knowing her. She is sorely missed.'
Source: Daily Mail