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Idaho kayaker dies in accident in northwestern Montana river

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Yaak River. Dan / Adobe Stock


LIBBY – An experienced kayaker from Victor, Idaho, died in a kayaking accident in the Yaak River in northwestern Montana over the weekend, Lincoln County officials said Monday. Yaak River is a tributary of the Kootenai River.

Dispatchers received an SOS message from a GPS device in the river at about 12:20 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff Darren Short said in a statement.

As deputies were traveling to the area west of Troy, one of the men on the kayaking trip was able to call 911.

He reported that a group of four men was navigating through a rough stretch of river about 3 to 4 miles north of the Kootenai River when Steven Koning fell out of his kayak. Members of the group were unable to rescue him, Short said.

His body was recovered at 3:30 p.m. in the Kootenai River near the Montana-Idaho line, Short said.

Koning, 50, was an experienced kayaker who owned a guide business, Coroner Steve Schnackenberg said.

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