Idaho man dies in Lincoln County kayaking accident

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Posted at 5:49 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 19:49:06-04

LIBBY - A man died in a Sunday kayaking accident in northwest Montana.

Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short says dispatchers received an SOS message from a GPS device in the Yaak River area near Troy at approximately 12:19 p.m.

Deputies responded to the area and updated information was received from the GPS device that the 38-year-old male who had sent the message was healthy and on a kayaking trip with three other males.

Short says a short time later, one of the males was able to make it to a phone and called 911 to report that 50-year-old Steven Koning, of Idaho, was kayaking with the group on the Yaak River approximately three-to-four miles north of the Kootenai River.

The group was going through a rough stretch of river when Koning fell out of his kayak, according to a news release. Fellow kayakers attempted to help him get to safety, but he slipped underwater, and they lost sight of him.

David Thompson Search and Rescue, Troy Volunteer Ambulance, and Two Bear Air Rescue responded to help with the search. Short says crews found Koning’s body shortly after 3:30 p.m. in the Kootenai River near the Idaho-Montana state line.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the victim was from Oregon. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is now reporting the victim was from Idaho.