Bodies of 2 men recovered from Nooksack River after raft flipped over

The Nooksack River near Glacier Creek. (Photo:

The bodies of two river rafters were recovered from the Nooksack River after their raft flipped over in a rapid on Tuesday, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office

A commercially-operated river raft was carrying four customers and one guide through the North Fork of the river when it was overturned near the Snowline neighborhood in Glacier. Two were rescued by the guide, while the other two were swept downstream. 

Deputies dispatched its search and rescue technicians as well as a K-9 and drone operators. Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) also responded along with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helicopter.

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At 7:30 p.m., local kayakers recovered the body of one man who was found submerged in a log jam approximately half a mile downstream from the overturned raft. The rescue team suspended search operations until the following morning. 

The CBP helicopter found the body of the second missing person downstream on Wednesday afternoon, just downstream from the Highway 542 bridge.

Neither of the victims had any obvious signs of trauma. According to the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office, the first young man died from drowning. The cause of death for the second victim is not yet determined but is believed to be drowning as well. Both were wearing wetsuits, helmets and life jackets.