Five safe after two water incidents

North Fork rafters, boy rescued in Glacier Park

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North Valley Search and Rescue transports California family members back to their vehicle at Blankenship Bridge after they flipped their raft Tuesday afternoon on the North Fork of the Flathead River. The rafters were wet and cold but uninjured when they were rescued. (Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake)

A family of rafters was wet but safe after a boating mishap Tuesday afternoon on the North Fork of the Flathead River.

And in a separate water incident, a 12-year-old boy was rescued Tuesday after falling into McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park.

The raft on the North Fork flipped on a ledge above the Glacier Rim River Access, throwing the California family of four into the river.

They managed to make it safely to shore on the Glacier National Park side of the river. There they were picked up by a North Valley Search and Rescue boat and transported to their vehicle at Blankenship Bridge.

The rafters — two adults and two children — were wet and cold, but there were no injuries. They were wearing life jackets.

The raft ended up floating downstream.

The incident began shortly before 1:30 p.m. with a cellphone call to 911 dispatchers saying that a raft had flipped and people were stuck on some rocks.

A second call from someone at Glacier Rim — a Flathead National Forest river access site 12 miles north of Columbia Falls — reported a blue raft floating past with no one in it.

The rafters were spotted on the shore by the Two Bear Air helicopter. Shortly before 2 p.m., they were picked up by North Valley Search and Rescue. Flathead County sheriff’s deputies and Glacier Park rangers also responded to the North Fork.

Earlier Tuesday, there was another water incident when a child fell into McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park.

At about 12:30 p.m., a 12-year-old Georgia boy was playing on a log at Red Rock Point when he fell into the creek. He was swept about 20 yards downstream in a constricted and steep area with fast-moving water, according to a news release from Glacier Park.

A man from Wisconsin jumped into the creek, retrieved the boy and got him safely to the other side. Glacier Park rangers responded with an inflatable kayak and life jackets and took the boy and his rescuer safely back across the creek. There were no injuries.

The incident occurred while the boy and his family were making a stop during a red bus tour in Glacier.

Tuesday’s water events followed the drowning on Saturday of a Washington state woman who died after slipping and falling into McDonald Creek.

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