Musher Dean Fairburn drowns on river

Dean Fairburn, an experienced river guide and musher has drowned on the Payette River, Idaho. Please read on from the article published in the Idaho Statesman: experienced Idaho river guide drowned after the raft he was steering with a group of tourists capsized in the Payette River and his foot got caught beneath a rock, the guide company owner said.Dean Fairburn, 45, of Garden Valley, had been a guide for eight years for Whitewater Unlimited.The accident occurred Sunday on a stretch of whitewater known as Staircase Rapids. Everybody else in the raft was able to swim to shore, but Fairburn couldn’t free himself. Attempts to resuscitate him at the scene failed.”We are pretty badly shaken here,” said J.B. Lawler, owner of the company. “He touched a lot of people’s lives over the years. He was a pillar.”Fairburn, who was married with two young sons, taught math and technology at Garden Valley High School during the school year.He was also an accomplished sled dog racer – Fairburn had taught school in Alaska, where he became acquainted with the sport – and had planned to compete in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race next March.


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