Missoula Woman Dies in Glacier National Park Scuba Diving Accident

Accident occurred at Lake McDonald on Nov. 1, second diver transported to Seattle

By Beacon Staff
The evening sun illuminates snow-capped peaks along Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. Beacon file photo

An 18-year-old woman from Missoula died as a result of a scuba diving accident on Nov. 1 at Lake McDonald, according to Glacier National Park officials.

The park said in a press release that a park ranger responded to a report of a scuba diving accident at the lake at approximately 5:50 p.m. The woman was declared deceased after resuscitation efforts by members of the diving group and first responders were unsuccessful.

The woman was part of a scuba diving group of six people who started their dive near the dock of Lake McDonald Lodge around 4 p.m. At the time of the incident, bystanders drove to Apgar Village for a cell signal to call 911. Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s A.L.E.R.T. was first on the scene, about 30 minutes after the initial 911 call.

A second diver, a 22-year-old male, suffered shortness of breath and was transported by Three Rivers Ambulance to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. He was later flown to Seattle for hyperbaric treatment.

The incident is under investigation and names have not yet been released pending next of kin notification. No other information about the cause or nature of the accident was immediately available.

The park said Lake McDonald is popular among some scuba diving groups because of submerged artifacts. Permits are not required to dive in Glacier National Park, and diving equipment is not subject to Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspections.

Park officials thanked the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Dive Team, Three Rivers Ambulance and A.L.E.R.T. for their assistance in this rescue effort.

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