Frenchtown Fire crews staged a rescue operation near the Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River Sunday afternoon, when a large party of canoeists capsized, however one male drowned in the incident.

Public Information Officer Mel Holtz told KGVO News that the call came in at about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

"Just after 3 p.m. today we received a call for a river rescue out in the Alberton Gorge area," Holtz said. "This was a little bit west of the Cyr exit off I-90 just past Alberton. We had several canoes tip over as part of a large boating party. One of the individuals was pulled over to the shore where CPR was administered."

Holtz said the area was in steep terrain where rescue crews could not gain access.

"There were several guided tours that ended up coming upon the scene, and they were able to help us get the victim over to the south side of the shore where we could then extricate the patient out of the water," he said. "CPR was continued and the patient was loaded onto an ambulance, but CPR was stopped at that point and the Mineral County coroner was called in."

Holtz said all the members of the party, including the drowning victim, were wearing life jackets.

The victim was a part of a group of canoeists from Washington State, but the male's age or hometown were not available.

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