Accident Database

Report ID# 3631

  • Swim into Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

 Woman drowns in Flathead River rafting accident


June 25, 2012 - 9:12 am EDT KALISPELL , Mont. — Officials in Flathead County say a 57-year-old Kalispell woman drowned after the raft she was in overturned in the Flathead River. Sheriff Chuck Curry says the woman and her husband were in the raft when it overturned Sunday afternoon at a spot where the river splits at an island. The husband was able to make it to shore and called for help at about 4 p.m. Curry says the woman was caught by a tree protruding from the island, held underwater and drowned. The woman's name was being withheld while family members were notified. Curry says both were wearing lifejackets and alcohol was not believed to be a factor. He called the drowning a tragic accident.


Kalispell woman drowns rafting on Flathead River

June 25, 2012 9:00 am  •  

A 57-year-old Kalispell woman died Sunday in a rafting accident on the main stem of the Flathead River. Brenda Reiner and her husband were riding in an inflatable raft just north of the Presentine Bar fishing access, according to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry. The raft overturned as it approached an island where the river splits and both were thrown into the water.

The husband surfaced downstream and was able to swim safely to shore downstream. Reiner was trapped submerged beneath a tree protruding from the island, known as a “strainer.”

Swiftwater rescue teams from Evergreen Fire, Flathead Search and Rescue, and North Valley Search and Rescue all responded to the scene, as did deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office. An ALERT helicopter also was called in to assist with the search, and helped locate the body, which was recovered by search and rescue team members. Reiner was pronounced dead on the scene. Both individuals were wearing life jackets, Curry said.

Flathead Valley Bureau reporter Tristan Scott can be reached at (406) 730-1067 or


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