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Glacier National Park Rangers Investigate Drowning

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Date: July 14, 2009
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406-888-7895

Glacier National Park officials are investigating a drowning at Swiftcurrent Lake on the park’s east side. Rangers were notified about 3:30 Tuesday morning, July 14 that two males had been canoeing on Swiftcurrent Lake. The canoe reportedly tipped over at about 3 am. Both males reportedly attempted to swim to shore, but only one person made it safely to shore. That person was the reporting party.

The body of James R. Greene, a 22-year-old from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was located shortly before noon Tuesday about 20 feet from shore in about 8 feet of water. He was a former Glacier Park Inc. employee. His body has been recovered and sent to the coroner’s office in Glacier County. The National Park Service is requesting an autopsy as part of the investigation.

The survivor is 29-year-old Joseph “Clay” Nelson from Spring, Texas. He is a current employee of Glacier Park Inc., and works at the Many Glacier Hotel.

Rangers report that at the time of the incident the temperature was in the mid to upper 40s, and it was not raining. Nearly 20 NPS employees searched the area until the body was located late Tuesday morning. Additional resources, including a helicopter and a dive team, were requested but were not needed.

No other details are available at this time. The investigation is currently ongoing.

Did You Know?

The Robert Fire of 2003

Did you know that 2003 was one of the hottest recorded years in Glacier National Park's history? That year, approximately 144,000 acres burned from multiple wildfires.