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Heard a horrible rumor today that there was a fatality yesterday on mf salmon. We took out yesterday and the water was big. Has anybody heard anything?
 

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I called the Custer County Sheriffs Office to get basic information .
They are still in recovery mode and no one has called out yet . If anyone else gets basic info please post it here . Looking for which group it was . Thanks
 

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That doesnt sound like the middle fork -- i dont recognize any of the descriptions of the river ----maybe south fork since it mentions stanley?
 

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Looking at a map, it would seem to be closer to the head waters on the Main, east of Stanley on Highway 75. And yes, the original article was dated April 25.
 

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This is a new accident from sunday not April.

SALMON -- Authorities were seeking to recover the body of a boater Monday evening who died Sunday after an inflatable raft overturned amid high water in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

The rafter was swept into the icy, fast-flowing waters more than five miles downstream of Boundary Creek. Boundary Creek is the only launch site accessible by vehicle on the Middle Fork in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

The rafter's identity, gender and age were withheld pending notification of relatives.

The fatal accident comes as snowmelt and rain has caused the river to rise to nearly 6 feet, a level considered hazardous.

The rafter was part of a private party of 14 people who launched Sunday morning at Boundary Creek with four inflatable river rafts and seven inflatable pontoon boats, Custer County Sheriff Stuart Lumpkin said.

The accident happened as the rafter sought to navigate an area of rapids known as Velvet Falls.

A maximum of seven launches daily -- both private and commercial -- are permitted on the river, with many days-long trips slated for the 100 miles of backcountry from Boundary Creek to Cache Bar.

The stretch is prized for its whitewater, fishing and scenic views that begin near the tree line at the upper end and drop into a granite-walled canyon at the lower end, said veteran Middle Fork guide Bill Bernt, owner of Aggipah River Trips in Salmon.

But the stretch can be more challenging to navigate amid high water and because of a steep gradient of about 30 feet per mile, Bernt said.

John Haugh, wilderness and river program manager for the Salmon-Challis National Forest, said the Middle Fork usually has two peaks in flow but a third is likely this year as the water level rises.

Rapids can form in high flows that do not exist at flows from 2 to 4 feet. Although there are fewer obstacles amid high water, "the consequences of a mistake are catastrophic," Haugh said. "In low water, you can take care of it. At 6-feet-plus, you could potentially die."

On average, one boater a year dies floating the Middle Fork. High flows there last June claimed the life of an experienced whitewater rafter who was thrown from his boat about a mile downstream of Boundary Creek.
 

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We cancelled two permits on June 3 launch due to concerns of high water. Glad i did. Hoping this group didn't pick up one of the cancellations. Be careful out there.
 

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I launched June 2nd. I picked up the permit last Wednesday at about 11:00pm. We had a group of 5 cats, including my wife. It was her first time running her own boat; she had 4 other trips as a passenger/part time rower. Yeah, it's big, but if you're skilled and properly equipped, it's a great time. We just did 3 days since we're all short on vacation time and it was a last minute trip. Sorry to hear about the fatality. I saw a lot of people getting ready to launch with HEAVY boats. Yikes. So, to whoever gave up the June 2 permit THANK YOU, we had a wonderful time on it. Avatard, why get a June 3 permit if you're not willing to go at high water?
 

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It was our fourth choice in a group of 32 applicants. There is always the off chance the water is epically low that year. We released them in april after learning it probably wasnt gonna be
 

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From what I've heard it happened at velvet. The water is over 6' but under 7' not very high water. Sounds like they were in a raft and went upside down at the falls. Helos are in Stanley heading down the river looking. I've heard nothing more. At 6' you can run the MF in 12+ hours. If you don't catch a boat or person you'll have to find them on the main or in July when the water goes down. Sad day out there. Don't get on the water if you don't know what you're in for. Velvet can be easy or a huge challenge. Cheers
 

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Everyone- in respect to friends and family who knew this fellow boater, please refrain from posting any names or further details for another 24 hours or so. We don't want to be the inadvertent notification source - I think we can all agree that not our place.

Thoughts & prayers to the family.
 

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Idahoriverguide: I guess 6.5' is not very high your book. I have ONLY run it at 8.0', but I think that 6.5' to 6.0' is the ugliest Velvet gets. No left hand sneak, left dicey to pull behind rock or eat it right of center!
 

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Again, folks- please do not post names or other identifying descriptions at this time. I know personally the hurt you feel, but I cannot fathom being told the news of a family member's death on an internet message board. It's just not right.

Give the right people adequate time to reach out to the people that need to know.
 
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