(Lincoln County, Wyo.) - On Saturday, 45-year-old Bourke Dewain Tarbet of Syracuse, Utah died during a rafting trip in the Snake River.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest said that the incident happened about 30 minute float downstream of West table boat ramp near a feature called Double Draw rapid. He was on a private boat.
According to reports, Tarbet came out of his boat near the Double Draw rapid and private boaters then pulled him into their boat. Mary Cerincek, public affairs officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, stated that the boats then negotiated the river feature called "Haircut Rock," which immediately follows Double Draw rapid. She said they were then able to immediately eddy out into the "Million Dollar Eddy" and get him to shore.
"Our permitted outfitters knew immediately where the nearest automatic external difficult (AED) was located and they hopped in a boat, rowed to the AED, retrieved it, and ran it back upstream to the shore where the forest river Rangers and others had initiated CPR," said Cernicek.
According to Captain Brian Andrews of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, CPR was performed on the man for approximately 60 minutes before he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Cernicek said that there were two doctors on scene and Lincoln County Sheriffs Department, Alpine Fire, and Star Valley Search and Rescue all helped with the response to this incident.
"The Snake River Canyon and the whitewater stretch is an exhilarating experience. While it is considered a Class II/ Class III river, it is not without inherent risks," said Cernicek. "Every boater should check the water levels before getting on the river. The river can be very different depending on how high or low the water is, creating new challenges every day. Getting the current river flows and making sure your skills and experience are ready for what the river has to offer for the day is necessary if you want to have a good trip."
The official cause of death has not yet been released.
Feature Photo: Haircut Rock, the rapid immediately following Double Draw Rapid. h/t Bridger-Teton National Forest / Pitchengine Communities