Doctor drowns during Salmon River rafting trip

Doctor drowns during Salmon River rafting trip

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 30 at 10:34 PM

Drowning on Middle Fork of Salmon River

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SALMON, Idaho -- A Coeur d'Alene pediatrician has drowned during a guided rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman says 57-year-old Maj StormoGipson drowned on July 26 after she was thrown from her kayak and became tangled underwater.

Bowerman says the guides discussed navigating around a downed tree in the water, but StormoGipson's kayak hit the tree. She was thrown into the water and somehow became hung up in branches under the water.

"The guides went through it first in their rafts, and the inflatables came next, and everyone went around it but her," Bowerman said.

Bowerman says StormoGipson was reportedly underwater for at least 10 minutes. Once rescued, he says members of the rafting party unsuccessfully performed CPR on her for about 30 minutes after the accident.

The woman's clothing and life vest may have held her under, according to Bowerman.

Members of the rafting party and several guides floated StormoGipson's body out of the wilderness.

She was reportedly on the trip with her husband, several family members, and friends.

Bowerman says the woman was on day 5 of a 6-day float with the Couer d'Alene-based River Odyssey West company. She was one of 23 clients and 7 guides on the trip. 

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