Submerged van pulled from Flathead River

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Members of the Flathead County Sheriff Office’s Swiftwater Rescue team prepare a van to be towed from the Flathead River on Monday morning. The van sunk in the river after a man attempted to launch the boat. (Photo from Flathead County Sheriff Office)

A recent effort by a Columbia Falls man to launch a boat on the Flathead River at Berne Memorial Park didn’t turn out too well after his van ended up sinking.

A trailer was still attached to the rear of the van when it was first discovered in the river Monday, Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said. A fisherman saw the van and called 911.

Members of the county swiftwater rescue team determined there wasn’t anyone inside. They, along with members of the North Valley Rescue team, worked to get the vehicle out of the water with the help of Hill Brothers Towing and the Office of Emergency Services.

No one was injured in the incident and the vehicle owner was later located safe in Columbia Falls.

Curry said his department was still investigating and wasn’t sure if a citation would be issued.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at (406) 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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