Accident Database

Report ID# 3495

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description

Wisconsin man dies in Lochsa River rafting accident

Alison Boggs The Idaho Spokesman-Review

A Wisconsin man drowned while rafting on the Lochsa River on Saturday. This is the second confirmed rafting fatality in the region this spring, following the death of a Hauser, Idaho, man last week on the Owyhee River in Oregon.  Randy A. Eroen, 35, of Sun Prairie, Wis., drowned after his raft hit a rapid and all four occupants fell out. Two were able to get back in, a third made it to shore, but Eroen was swept down river, a news release from the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s office received the call at 1:41 p.m. Eroen was unable to reach the life rope thrown to him by two kayakers accompanying the group, the release said. The kayakers went after Eroen, pulled him from the river and started CPR. They were joined by the rest of their private rafting party, who continued CPR until medical assistance arrived. “The water is high, it’s dangerous,” said Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings. “People know, but they just don’t believe. It happens every year.”


A similar incident took place on the Lochsa River on May 28 when a Wisconsin man died after the raft he was in hit a rapid and threw him and three others into the water. Thirty-five-year-old Randy Eroen was also unable to get to shore, and was eventually pulled from the water by a group of kayakers. Both the kayakers and rafters performed CPR on Eroen until paramedics arrived, however, he couldn't be revived.


Wisconsin man drowns rafting on Lochsa River

By the Missoulan
Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011:

A 35-year-old Wisconsin man has drowned while rafting on the Lochsa River in north-central Idaho. Randy A. Eroen, of Sun Prairie, Wisc., died Saturday afternoon after the raft he was in hit a rapid and all four occupants fell into the Lochsa. Two of the rafters were able to get back into the raft and one was able to swim to shore, according to a news release Tuesday from Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings.

One of two kayakers who were accompanying the group threw a life rope to Eroen, but he was unable to reach it as he was swept downriver by the current. The kayakers made their way downriver and pulled Eroen from the water and began CPR. The rafters arrived as well, and helped with CPR and getting Eroen up the bank - where they called for help and continued CPR until paramedics arrived. However, he could not be revived.

The sheriff said the accident was reported at 1:41 p.m. Saturday at about mile post 132 of U.S. Highway 12, in Idaho.Helping with the rescue and attempted resuscitation were Lewiston, Idaho, Lifeflight; Clearwater Valley Ambulance of Kooskia; Idaho County sheriff's deputies Tom Remington and Scott Paulsen; and Idaho State Trooper Ed Holbert.

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