Family Hopes to Recovery Body of Man from Middle Fork of the Salmon
CHALLIS, Idaho (KLIX)-The family of a man who drowned in a rafting accident hope to recover his body soon from the Middle Fork of the Salmon river before it is carried even further downstream. The Family of Robert Gray have set up a GoFundMe account to aid in the recovery efforts of his body which rescue crews have not been able to reach because of high water flows and the terrain. Gray was rafting on May 24, when he was knocked off his boat and was swept downstream. According to the Custer County Sheriff's Office, Gray, who is from Mills Creek, Washington was spotted by helicopter submerged in a log jam near Boundary Creek the next day. The sheriff's office said at the time river flows where too high to safely retrieve Gray's body. "Our greatest concern is that Dad’s body will float farther down the river and become lost before it is retrieved. We want to be able to actively track his body to determine if it moves or stays in place. While the local search and rescue department has been very helpful, they do not have a helicopter that can go out on a regular basis. They need to hire one from Boise, and the next search has been approved for Tuesday, May 31. After that, it is unclear when or how often the searches can be conducted," wrote the family on the GoFundMe page. The family said rescue crews will determine if it is safe to try and get to the body or wait. It may take some time as water levels are not expected to go down much this week and may even rise later. The family said they are working with a local construction company to remove snow and debris from the only access road down to the man's body. "To recover Robert this week, we need a miracle. God commands the air, water, earth and sky. He's got this. Please pray that the water drops by at least Wednesday or Thursday and that Robert is still in the same location. In case access by road is not possible, please also pray for safe conditions for a helicopter to airdrop rafts and personnel," wrote the family. The GoFundMe page asked for a donation of $25,000 but contributions have already exceeded $26,000 as of Monday evening.