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Glacier National Park reports two drownings on Saturday

Glacier National Park new.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 07, 2024

WAST GLACIER — Glacier National Park announced Sunday that two drownings in the park on Saturday, July 6, 2024.

A 26-year-old man from India is presumed dead while a 28-year-old from Nepal is dead.

The first drowning was that of a 26-year-old male from India, who had been living and working in California and was on vacation with friends.

The man was hiking on the Avalanche Lake Trail when he went into the creek around 8:30 a.m. According to witnesses who saw him go into the water, and resurface briefly before before being swept away in the current and into a gorge.
Crews searched for the man in the air and on foot. The hiker is presumed dead and rangers believe that the body is underwater in the gorge.

A news release states that because of hazardous conditions and poor visibility in the area, search efforts will be scaled down but rangers will still monitor the area.

Avalanche Creek is at a higher water level due to snow melt runoff making the area extremely dangerous. The conditions are making it impossible for rangers to enter the gorge.

The second drowning happened at around 6:25 p.m. on Saturday when a 28-year-old man from Nepal was swimming with friends in Lake McDonald near the Sprague Creek Campground. He was living and working in Portland and was on vacation with friends.

Friends who were with him say he was an inexperienced swimmer. He was about 30 yards off the shore when witnesses say that he started to struggle, went underwater and did not resurface.

Rangers, ALERT helicopter and Three Rivers Ambulance responded to the scene. Rangers were able to determine the location of the victim's body, which was about 30 yards offshore and 35-to-40 feet under the water, according to a news release.

The Flathead County Sheriff's dive team responded and recovered the body later at around 8:20 p.m.

The names of the victims have not been released. Park officials say they have contacted the India and Nepal consulates for assistance in contacting the next of kin.