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Accident Description


 A Massachusetts man died on July 31, 1999 after his raft flipped in a Class V rapid known as ''The Exterminator'' on the West Branch of the Penobscot River near Millinocket, ME. Charles Thompson, 56, did not appear to be hurt after the mishap in Ripogenus Gorge. Instead, he told his guide that he wanted to continue the trip before collapsing moments later. Guides performed CPR for 35 minutes until rescuers arrived. He was pronounced dead at Millinocket Regional Hospital. Since the state medical examiner's office found no visible injuries, the death is believed to have been caused by heart problems.

SOURCE: AP Newswire; Local Outfitters

ANALYSIS: (Walbridge) Swims in big water are extremely strenuous, and may unmask hidden heart problems.