The Missoulan 6/9/2015
By Vince Devlin
KALISPELL – Tragic accident in Flathead County on Monday – a drowning while attempting to surf on the Flathead River. The name of the man who drowned, a 30-year-old from Park City, Utah, has not been released pending the notification of relatives. The drowning accident occurred on the North Fork of the Flathead River in remote country north of Polebridge. Witnesses reported the victim was attempting to “river surf” on a surfboard tied to a snag across the river. The man was attempting to climb on the surfboard when he became entangled in the rope, causing both him and the surfboard to disappear under the water.
The witnesses were able to cut the rope from the snag, freeing the surfboard and the man, and pulled him from the water approximately 200 yards downriver. They initiated CPR, but attempts to revive the victim were unsuccessful. Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s ALERT helicopter was dispatched to the scene, as was Three Rivers Emergency Medical Service and Blankenship Fire Department of Columbia Falls, Glacier National Park rangers and Flathead sheriff’s deputies. The coroner’s office is also investigating this death.