Accident Database

Report ID# 1137

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Accident Description

TREE FALLS ON PASSING COMMERCIAL RAFTERS

            In the unusual occurrence department, on June 15, 1997,  three commercial rafts were running the Class III-IV whitewater on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River east of GlacierPark at the border of GlacierPark in Montana  when a 100 foot high cottonwood fell on the lead boat. The raft was pinned by the deadfall, and two passengers washed downstream. Several other passengers were injured, and two were evacuated from the scene by helicopter and hospitalized.

All passengers wore wetsuits and lifejackets. The guides were all EMTs and trained in swiftwater rescue. The accident was reported by radio from the commercial rafts, and a cell phone call to 911 by a passing motorist who witnessed the event. All are expected to survive.       

SOURCE: Doug Perl, posting to rec.boats.paddle

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