Accident Database

Report ID# 115123

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Search and rescue underway for man lost in Yellowstone River

Paul Hamby, Billings Gazette

 Aug 10, 2021

Several agencies are searching for a 63-year-old man swept away by the Yellowstone River between Columbus and Big Timber on Sunday.

The man went into the river to catch a raft, Sweet Grass County Sheriff Alan Ronneberg told The Gazette, and his family and friends are among those contributing to the search effort. “We’re having a little bit of difficulty, just because of the clarity of the water. That, and the wind isn’t helping a whole lot for our air support,” Ronneberg said Tuesday.

Ronneberg said the man went into the water west of the Bratten fishing access site on Sunday afternoon and floated downriver a short distance before disappearing. Sweet Grass County Sheriff’s Office received word that he went missing the same day. As of Tuesday, the Gallatin, Stillwater and Yellowstone County sheriff’s offices have joined the search, along with Sweet Grass County Search and Rescue.

The search area spans about six miles along the river, from the Bratten fishing access site to Reed Point. Since Monday, high winds have limited flight times for search helicopters, Ronneberg said. “It’s already pretty windy today … Tomorrow looks better for us, but I would rather find him sooner,” he said.

Photos look like fast current; no rapids

UPDATE (8/13/2021)

The Sweet Grass Co. Sheriffs Office and SAR with the assistance of Stillwater SAR were able to locate and recover the body of Randall Crawford of Park City MT this morning near the Indian Fort campground located north of Reed Point MT. His family has been notified. Randall was last seen on August 8th west of the Bratten fishing access when he entered the river to retrieve a raft.

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