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GB woman drowns in Chetco River

A Gold Beach woman drowned in a paddle boarding accident on the Chetco River Saturday evening, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.

Heather Bonser Bishop, 39, drowned when her paddle board and line became tangled in a submerged tree on the north bank of the river, across from AtRivers Edge RV Resort, according to Sheriff John Bishop, who is no relation to the victim.

The sheriff's press release said Heather Bishop was on an outing on the river with her family Saturday afternoon. She and her 10-year-old daughter were behind the other members of the group.

Officials were alerted to the accident about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when Mike Sanders, visiting from Texas, called 911 to report he could hear a child crying for help. He was on the south bank of the river near AtRivers Edge RV Resort.

The sheriff’s office said the child crossed the river to Sanders while emergency personnel from the sheriff’s office, Cal-Ore Life Flight, Brookings Fire Department and Brookings Police responded to the scene.

Deputy John Ensley reported that officials had to keep Bishop’s family members from trying to go back into the water after the victim’s body.

With the use of the sheriff’s marine boat, the body was recovered about 7:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The accident is under investigation by the Curry County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division.


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