Whitewater Fatality Was Second For Rafting Company In Just Over A Year
The death of a man while on a whitewater rafting trip on the Dead River is the second fatality for the rafting company in just over year.
Saturday, 67-year-old Richard Sanders of York died when he, and the other 6 passengers of a raft on the Dead River, were ejected into the water. None of the other passengers was hurt, but officials say Sanders was not breathing when pulled from the water. Attempts at lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. Centralmaine.com reports a statement released this week from North Country Rivers Rafting suggested that Sanders may have suffered a medical issue that led to his death. The Maine Warden service is still investigating the incident.
Just over a year ago, on May 14th, 2017, 52-year-old Michael Arena of Lexington, Massachusetts died after falling into the water while on a trip with North Country Rivers Rafting on the Dead River. Arena was chaperoning a group of Boy Scouts on a rafting trip when he died. American Whitewater's accident report lists Arena's cause of death as 'flush drowning,' which is when a person is held under water by turbulent water. Wardens, at the time, said it was a rare incident in the whitewater rafting industry since it had been several years since there had been a fatality.
The Warden Service says all occupants of the raft, over the weekend, were wearing helmets, which is law and life jackets, which is company policy on commercial rafting trips.