CURRY COUNTY, Ore. — A Class IV rapid on the Rogue River has claimed its second victim of the summer. The Curry County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a man drowned at Blossom Bar on Wednesday afternoon.
The Curry County Sheriff’s Office says 66-year-old Steven Boyd, from Walla Walla, Washington, was thrown into the water and hit his head on a rock. He was on a raft with a crew; the rest of the crew was able to clear the rapid with minor injuries. It is unknown at this time if Boyd’s head injury contributed to the drowning, but the sheriff’s office says it may have played a role.
The rapid is located deep in the heart of the 34-mile “Wild and Scenic” section of the Rogue River. They say this makes access and rescues difficult and challenging. The rapid is notorious for flipping boats and rafts. The sheriff’s office says a Mercy Flight Helo was dispatched to the area but upon arrival notified Deputy Heath and Sheriff Bishop that Boyd was deceased. The Medical Examiner was notified and the investigation is ongoing.
On Friday, a South Carolina man drowned when he slipped from his boat while trying to free it. The Oregon Marine Board and the Curry County Sheriff’s Office have issued warnings specifically about this part of the river and the current low water levels.