Another Woman Drowned At Denali Park On June 24th, Before Klutina River Death In Copper Valley

Troopers Say 67-Year-Old North Carolina Woman Fell Out Of Raft In Nenana Canyon Rapids & Died In June  Public Information About Earlier ...

Troopers Say 67-Year-Old North Carolina Woman Fell Out Of Raft In Nenana Canyon Rapids & Died In June 

Public Information About Earlier Denali Incident Apparently Not Released By Troopers For 14 Days 

Rafts prepare to head out into the river at Denali Park. (File photo by Copper River Country Journal) 

Troopers Say Report On Nenana River Rafting Death In June  Delayed By Medical Examiner Inquiry 
July 11th, 2024 

The State Troopers say the 2-week delay on reporting the death of a North Carolina woman in a Nenana River rafting accident at the edge of Denali National Park stemmed from having to wait for the results of a medical inquiry into the cause of death.

Tim DeSpain, of the Department of Public Safety's information office, wrote the Journal on Thursday, July 11th: 

The release for the death investigation of Pamela Waaser was delayed pending the State Medical Examiner’s Office initial determination as to the cause of death due to the fact that she collapsed as she was getting back in the raft. However the (SMEO) initial determination is drowning. The rafting company is Denali Raft Adventures. She was wearing a dry suit with PFD and helmet.

Doctor & Local EMTs Could Not Revive Her 
July 9th, 2024 

A report by the Alaska State Troopers on July 9th, 2024, said that a 67-year-old woman from North Carolina fell out of a raft at the Nenana River Rapids. Despite extensive efforts by practiced EMTs and a physician, she died. The Denali area death happened on June 24th. The Trooper report about the incident was not posted by the state until Tuesday, July 9th, not long after a 65-year-old Pennsylvania woman died in a rafting incident on the Klutina River in the Copper Valley. 

Location: Healy

Type: Death Investigation/Drowning

Dispatch Text:

On 6/24/24 at 1221 hours, AST and Tri-Valley EMS responded to a 911 call reporting CPR in progress on PAMELA WAASER (age 67 of North Carolina) who was participating on a commercial rafting trip on the Nenana River near Denali National Park. 

WAASER had fallen out of the raft into the water while traversing rapids on the river and while trying to get back into the raft she stopped moving. 

Following significant efforts by rafting guides, next of kin, guests (including an EMT and a retired doctor), and local EMS, she was pronounced deceased. Following an investigation by Alaska State Troopers and the Medical Examiner’s Office, the death is believed to be accidental/drowning.     


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