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Recovery Operation Successful

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Date: September 3, 2011
Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888-5838

WEST GLACIER, MT. -The challenging recovery operation to remove the body of Jacob "Jake" Rigby from a high alpine location in the southern end of the park was successful Saturday morning. Glacier National Park Chief Ranger and Incident Commander for the Rigby Incident Mark Foust said, "It was an extremely challenging incident because of the steep and treacherous location." We are fortunate to have skilled pilots and crews with Minuteman Aviation, US Forest Service and Parks Canada."

During the search efforts two helicopters from Minuteman Aviation and Flathead National Forest were instrumental in inserting and removing search crews, and aerial reconnaissance. A helicopter, pilot and park wardens from Waterton Lakes National Park were used to recover the body from the high and steep "8888" mountain. Foust said, "The park wardens from Waterton are highly skilled and specialized to conduct an alpine recovery of this nature. We are very appreciative of their assistance."

Foust also expressed great appreciation to Flathead National Forest aviation staff and the Flathead Valley Search and Rescue for assisting with the effort and their dedication and professionalism.

The Rigby family issued this statement:

"Thank you for all the kind thoughts and prayers contributed for our son and brother Jake. Special thanks to the National Park Service and all the search and recovery personnel for their dedication, support and professionalism."

Did You Know?

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.