July 9, 2018
(Gallatin County, Mont.) Sunday morning at 11:45 , Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Three Forks Fire, Willow Creek Fire, AMR and REACH Air Medical responded to a report of an unresponsive man in the Jefferson River whose kayak had flipped at the diversion dam, just south of the Sappington Bridge. Rescuers found 72 year old Bruce Vanlandingham of Bozeman on an island between Sappington Junction and Williams Bridge. CPR was in progress when responders arrived and continued until the man was pronounced deceased at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Cause of death is being investigated by the Office of the Sheriff/Coroner.
Sheriff Gootkin stated, “Two people were out on calm water doing everything right and tragedy still struck.” The Sheriff would like to remind floaters that accidents can happen on the calmest of waters. Ensure you float with a partner, wear a PFD and carry some form of communication in a waterproof container so you can call for help if needed. Photos courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office.