BOZEMAN – 21 year old Harold Vaughan, an MSU student from Madison County, died yesterday while kayaking on the Gallatin River. At 5:30 p.m. Vaughan’s kayaking partner called 911 to report that Vaughan was upside down in his kayak headed down river from the mouth of the Gallatin Canyon.
Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, four Deputies, Gateway and Bozeman Fire Depts, AMR ambulance and Summit Air Ambulance responded to the scene and located Vaughan’s kayak wedged upside down into a log jam at about 7000 Gallatin Road. Strong currents and hidden hazards such as logs and rocks slowed access to the kayak but rescuers were able to determine Vaughan was still inside the craft. After extricating Vaughan recitation efforts were started but were unsuccessful.
While recreation activities during high water are always hazardous, Sheriff Gootkin stated that the Gallatin River from the mouth of the canyon north is especially dangerous because of the number and size of log jams and hidden hazards.
Mr. Vaughan was wearing a life vest but not wearing a helmet.