Accident Database

Report ID# 3628

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

Accident Description

Rescuers search for missing rafter near Stanley

Authorities caution white water rafters to pay attention to obvious dangers that come with early-season, cold-water conditions

Associated Press and KIFI-TV

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

STANLEY -- Officials in central Idaho are looking for a man who was thrown into the Salmon River after the raft he was in struck a partially submerged log over the weekend. Steven Herrett told Custer County officials that he and Mark McCoy of Stanley entered the river late Saturday to go fishing. KIFI-TV reports the raft hit a log and forced the men into the swift-moving water. Herrett was able to reach the shore, but he could not locate McCoy. Herrett's dog also is missing. Sheriff's Deputy Justin Mitchell was called at about 10 p.m. Saturday. The county search and rescue crew along with other search crews, deputies, river rafting guides and Stanley residents joined the search Sunday. The search effort resumed Monday. As of 4:30 p.m., searchers had not found McCoy.

CUSTER COUNTY, Idaho -- Custer County authorities say the body of a missing Stanley man has been found. Mark McCoy was thrown from his raft on the Salmon River on Saturday after it apparently struck a partially submerged log. His companion, Steven Herrett was able to reach the shore, but could not locate his friend in the water. Herrett told officials he and McCoy entered the river late Saturday night to go fishing. Herrett's dog, Gus, which was with the men in the raft, was missing for a time, but was found and "seemed no worse for wear."

Custer County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Mitchell was called to the scene around 10 p.m. Saturday with a Stanley Search and Rescue Team. Sheriff Stuart Lumpkin activated the county Search and Rescue team overnight. Challis SAR, County Deputies, River Rafting Guides, and a contingent of Stanley residents, Bonneville and Blaine County Search and Rescue, and Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Dogs later joined the search, as well as a "never-ending flow of volunteers." The river corridor was divided into search quadrants. Volunteers formed teams to spot the river banks from Casino Creek to Slate Creek and beyond. By the end of Sunday, the Salmon River had been repeatedly searched from Casino Creek to Slate Creek near Clayton. By Tuesday night the water had risen 8 to 10 inches and was traveling more than 6 mph. It was cold, chocolate brown and filled with debris. Lumpkin suspended the search until the river could return to safe operating levels. At noon Wednesday, the body of McCoy was found at the Sunbeam Dam near the mouth of Yankee Fork River. McCoy had traveled 6.5 miles down the Salmon until his clothing had caught on some willows in the Sunbeam area.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!