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Rafting deaths in 2006

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CULLOWHEE, North Carolina (CNN) -- At least 50 deaths have been reported already this year in whitewater sports on the nation's rivers, according to a nonprofit organization's Web site.

American Whitewater's accident list includes 25 deaths on rafting trips in 12 states. Seventeen more people have died in kayak upsets and eight in other whitewater drownings through the middle of August.

Here are the rafting deaths, state-by-state, with additional details gathered by CNN from local newspapers:

OREGON (6): Despite new safety laws, Oregon leads the nation this year in whitewater drownings -- five of them on the Deschutes River alone. Among those victims: Danielle Hagler, 17, who was on a three-day church trip with other teenage girls when her raft flipped July 6. She never surfaced, even though she was wearing a life jacket. Four of the deaths happened in a series of dangerous rapids near Maupin, Oregon, the most recent drowning on August 19.

Sources: Bend Bulletin; Salem Statesman Journal; The Oregonian.

WYOMING (4): Three visitors drowned June 2 on a guided rafting trip on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, south of Yellowstone. The victims were identified as John Rivas, 63, and Elizabeth Rivas, 58, of Beaufort, South Carolina, and Linda Clark, 59, from Shreveport, Louisiana. They were among a dozen people whose raft flipped when it hit a fallen tree in the river.

In Casper, a 21-year-old, Scott Schafer, lost his inner tube June 25 floating down a whitewater course on the Platte River. He drowned when he waded back in to try to retrieve it. He had no life jacket.

Sources: Jackson Hole News and Guide; Casper Tribune.

WASHINGTON (3): A veteran guide, Jeff Driver, 50, and one of his passengers, Rollin Schimmel, 61, died May 20 on a four-raft trip on the Klickitat River near Yakima when the group ran into a logjam and two of the rafts flipped. Driver was the third commercial rafting guide to drown in the United States within one year.

The other Washington victim was an 11-year-old girl, Jasmine Eliot, from Olympia, whose family raft hit a logjam in the Yakima River on July 22.

Source: Yakima Herald-Republic.

CALIFORNIA (2): A 13-year-old girl, Christine Piatti, from San Rafael, became the latest victim July 23. She was bounced out of a raft on the American River above Sacramento. Wearing a life jacket, she began floating downriver in the proper safety position, but was pulled under and trapped by rocks. Piatti was on the river with her father, who was a former commercial rafting outfitter.

Sources: Sacramento Bee; Marin Independent Journal.

MONTANA (2): A man visiting from Donegal, Pennsylvania, drowned July 11 in the Yellowstone River near Custer when his raft snagged a downed tree and overturned. Earlier in the summer, Sara Varnum, 18, a freshman at Eastern Washington University, drowned on a college trip when her group hit a fallen tree across the Clark Fork west of Missoula.

Sources: Missoulian; Billings Gazette; Treasure County Sheriff.

ALASKA (1): A 5-year-old boy, Taylor Evans, drowned on Kodiak Island July 13 when his father's raft spilled over in Russian Creek.

Source: Anchorage Daily News.

MICHIGAN (1): Guenther Siegel, 71, a visitor from Chicago, Illinois, drowned July 16 when a raft capsized in the Menominee River on the Upper Peninsula. Siegel, who was wearing a life jacket and helmet, tried to hold on to the raft, but slipped under the water.

Source: Iron Mountain Daily News.

VIRGINIA (1): Aaron Cooper, 21, a senior at Liberty University, fell off an inexpensive vinyl raft into the James River near Glasgow and drowned June 30. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Source: Roanoke Times.

WEST VIRGINIA (1): Neville Williams was bounced out of a raft and drowned at Iron Ring falls on the Upper Gauley River June 14 near Summerville. Williams, 67, from St. Michael, Maryland, was one of 15 people on a Boy Scout and Explorer trip.

Source: Beckley Register-Herald.

Other rafting deaths in 2006 have occurred in Colorado, Idaho, and New York.

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