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After saving two friends, Minnesota man drowns in Montana river

None of the men were wearing lifejackets.
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A Minneapolis man rescued his two friends after they were thrown into a raging river last week, but drowned when he tried to retrieve their overturned raft afterward.

The sheriff's office in Flathead County confirmed that 44-year-old Lee Alan Gebro died after being thrown in the water when his raft turned over on Friday around 6 p.m.

Gebro and two friends were navigating a hazardous section of the Flathead River, an area known as the "shelf" just north of Glacier Rim, when their raft got stuck in the "hydraulic" below the shelf.

All three were thrown from the raft into the water. After helping his two friends swim to shore, Gebro tried to swim after the raft when it became dislodged.

Unfortunately, he drowned in the process, with Flathead Sheriff Chuck Curry saying neither Gebro or his two friends were wearing lifejackets.

An initial search on Saturday evening turned up nothing, but after resuming their efforts on Sunday they found Gebro in 15 feet of water in an eddy below the shelf.

The North Valley Search and Rescue, which assisted with the search, described the area of the river as "very hazardous," and even more dangerous if you don't wear a life jacket.

A brief obituary posted at Afterlife said that Gebro died "on the river doing what he loved."

No funeral arrangements have been announced.

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