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Operator of raft dies in Snake River tangle

May 22, 2019 GMT

Brian Allen, a 44-year-old Moran resident, died Tuesday afternoon after the raft he was operating became tangled on a log in the Snake River, officials said.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. in Grand Teton National Park on a stretch of the river near the historic Bar BC Dude Ranch.

A group of four Grand Teton Lodge Company employees were on a scenic float training trip when the boat became stuck.

“Some of the passengers fell into the cold and swift moving water, and as the boat operator attempted to dislodge the raft, he fell into the water as well,” Teton park spokeswoman Denise Germann said in a press release.


The passengers were able to climb back into the raft but called Teton Interagency Dispatch when they could not find Allen.

“Rangers immediately responded to the scene and various locations along the river with multiple rescue boats, and rescue/medical personnel,” the press release stated. “Teton County Search and Rescue members assisted with aerial reconnaissance in the county helicopter.”

At 5:15 p.m. rescuers located Allen’s body near the log snag.

The Teton County Coroner pronounced him deceased.

The other passengers did not report any injuries, officials said.

The National Park Service is investigating the incident.

On Tuesday afternoon the river was runing a little over 7,000 cubic feet per second, down from nearly 10,000 cfs on Friday. With higher water, debris, including trees, was moving around that section of river. The water temperature hovered between 42 and 46 degrees, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

— Rebecca Huntington contributed to this story.