News & Features

Minnesota Man Drowns in North Fork Rafting Accident

Boat flipped in a hazardous section of river near Glacier Rim known as the “shelf"

A 44-year-old Minneapolis man drowned on July 14 after the raft he was in flipped on the North Fork of the Flathead River north of Columbia Falls.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Lee Alan Gebro.

According to Sheriff Chuck Curry, Gebro and two other people were rafting the North Fork on Friday evening when their boat flipped in a hazardous section of river near Glacier Rim known as the “shelf.” The raft got stuck just below the hazard.

Gebro helped the other two occupants to the shore and then went back to try and get the raft but drowned in the process, Curry said.

No one in the boat was wearing a life jacket.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office dive team and North Valley Search and Rescue recovered Gebro’s body the following day.

Every summer, the hydraulic feature known as the “shelf” produces multiple emergency responses from people who flip their boats. Rafters are encouraged to avoid the section, which is located on the right side of the river.

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