07-16-2024  6:02 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

Lake McDonald acts as a near-perfect mirror for the mountains in Glacier National Park, Montana, June 22, 2011. From left are Stanton Mountain, Mount Vaught, McPartland Mountain, Mount Cannon and Mount Brown. A 28-year-old man from Nepal drowned in Lake McDonald on Saturday evening, July 6, 2024, park officials said, hours after a 26-year-old man from India drowned after being swept away by Avalanche Creek. (AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Brenda Ahearn, File)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 08 July 2024

WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — Two men drowned in Glacier National Park over the July 4 holiday weekend, park officials said.

A 26-year-old man from India was hiking on Avalanche Lake Trail on Saturday morning when he walked near Avalanche Creek, slipped on rocks and was caught in the cold, fast-moving water. Witnesses saw him go underwater and resurface briefly before being swept through a narrow gorge at about 8:30 a.m.

A helicopter crew and park rangers searched for the man, but they believe his body was caught underwater in the gorge. The creek is running high due to snowmelt runoff. Due to poor visibility and hazardous conditions, the search effort has been scaled back and rangers are monitoring the area, park officials said.

The man was living and working in California and was in the park on vacation with friends.

On Saturday evening, a 28-year-old man from Nepal was swimming with friends in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground. According to friends, he was an inexperienced swimmer. He was about 30 yards (27 meters) from shore when he started to struggle and went underwater at about 6:25 p.m.

The lake is shallower near the edge, but there is a large drop-off in the area where the man went under, said park spokeswoman Gina Icenoggle. The Flathead County Sheriff's Office dive team recovered his body in 35 to 40 feet (11 to 12 meters) of water at about 8:20 p.m.

The man was living and working in Portland, Oregon, and was on vacation with friends.

Park officials have contacted the Nepal and India consulates for assistance in contacting the victims' families. Their names have not been released.

Drowning is the leading cause of death in Glacier National Park, officials said.

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