Family of man who drowned in Salmon River seeking public’s help
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CHALLIS – The family of a man who drowned in a boating accident on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River nearly a month ago is asking for the public’s help in locating his body.
Robert Gray, 63, from Mills Creek, Washington was floating the Middle Fork near Boundary Creek on May 24 when his raft hit a log jam and threw him into the water, according to a news release from the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.
Gray was reportedly tired, cold and unable to get himself out of the river. He was ultimately carried away by the current.
Custer County Search and Rescue initially found Gray’s body on May 25 submerged in a log jam below Boundary Creek. His body was never recovered due to dangerously high water levels.
Several days later, they were unable to find the body in the logjam. They also searched 50 miles of river and could not find the body.
The family launched a GoFundMe earlier this month to raise funds for a private helicopter to continue the search.
In an email to EastIdahoNews.com, a family spokesperson says they believe Gray’s body has moved farther down the river from the original logjam where it was first spotted. They’re asking for the public’s help in finding and recovering it.
“Given the high and swift waters, Robert’s body could be anywhere at this point,” the family said in an emailed statement.
The Gray family is asking the public to be on alert and to report any sightings anywhere between the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, to the Salmon, Snake and Columbia Rivers,”
Gray was last seen wearing a red life jacket, a white helmet, and a black wetsuit.
Anyone who happens to find Gray’s body or any of these items can call the Custer County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 879-2232. The Middle Fork Ranger District for the U.S. Forest Service can also be reached at (208) 879-4101.
Pictures can be texted to the Sawtooth Search and Rescue incident commander at (208) 993-9391. The family can be contacted through email via email@example.com.