Rafter Hits Boulder and Drowns

Blossom Bar DrowningGOLD BEACH, Ore. – The drowning of a rafter on Wednesday makes it the second drowning in five days on the Rogue River.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office says Washington resident Steven Boyd was rafting with experienced rafters. The group was going through Blossom Bar, known as the “picket fence”, when the raft hit a boulder and turned upside down.

The sheriff’s office says Boyd went into the water and hit his head on a rock. Deputies aren’t sure if the injury caused him to drown. A river guide for a Merlin rafting company says Blossom Bar is a dangerous area even for experienced guides.

“Years ago there were several fatalities in that rapid and from that point on, as a company, we made it a policy not to let our guests go through that rapid,” said Fritz Debo, with Orange Torpedo Trips.

Deputies say Blossom Bar is located 52 miles up the Rogue River from Gold Beach. They say it’s only accessible by boat or helicopter. Rafters should use caution near that area.