Recent Glacier National Park drowning victims identified

Glacier National Park July 6 Drownings
Posted at 5:39 PM, Jul 10, 2024

Authorities have released the names of two men who drowned on Saturday, July 6 at Glacier National Park.

The victims have been identified as Vitthal Patil, 26, of India, and 28-year-old Raju Jha 28, of Nepal.

Patil was hiking above the gorge on Avalanche Lake Trail when he left the trail, stood on a large rock, and fell into Avalanche Creek, according to a news release.  Park officials say it’s not clear if he slipped on a wet part of the rock or lost his balance.

Patil was seen going into the creek and going underwater before briefly resurfacing. He was then caught in the current and went into the gorge. Despite air and ground searches, park officials say Patil has not been found and is presumed dead.

Patil was living and working in California and on vacation with friends.

Jha — who friends described as an inexperienced swimmer — died Saturday evening while in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground. According to witnesses, he was about 30 yards from shore when he began to struggle, went underwater, and never resurfaced.

Jha’s body was recovered from the water at approximately 8:20 p.m. on Saturday by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office dive team.

Jha was living in Portland, Oregon and was vacationing at Glacier National Park with friends.