The Custer County Sheriff's Office says the man who drowned after he fell into a remote area of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River on Sunday night was a 34-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo.
Search and Rescue Commander Deputy Levi Maydole said the man fell into the water from an inflatable river raft at Velvet Falls, which is about 5.1 miles downstream from the Boundary Creek boat launch. He says CPR was performed as soon as the man was pulled from the water at around 8:30 pm Sunday but failed to revive the victim.
The department said a rafting party of 14 persons, four inflatable river rafts and seven inflatable pontoon boats launched into the river Sunday morning. The Middle Fork River is running at an average 8 miles per hour and a height of 6.5 feet. It is continuing to rise daily.
Sheriff Stuart Lumpkin activated the Custer County Search and Rescue team Monday afternoon as the river party proceeded slowly toward Indian Creek. By 5 pm the search party had only traveled eight miles and stopped at Sheepeater Hot Springs for the night.
Kayaker Shawn Glocum and a companion were contracted to join up with the river party then guide the group to Indian Creek airstrip, where the victim could be flown out by Middle Fork Aviation. Glocum reached the airstrip by 11 am Tuesday, but the strip was locked in by air and fog. Recovery efforts are on hold until the weather clears.