(UPDATE, 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 19)
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) released more information Wednesday morning regarding a fatal jet ski crash that took the lives of two Great Falls residents Tuesday afternoon.
Bruce Auchly, information officer with Montana FWP, sent a follow-up press release to MTN News Wednesday, saying the Great Falls couple who died Tuesday on the Missouri River, Dennis Sire and Karon Sire, “died after their personal watercraft collided about 4:30 p.m. on the Missouri just upstream from the 10th Ave. South Bridge.”
It is still unclear whether the crash involved a collision between the watercraft or with another structure like an embankment.
The statement went on to clarify that both victims were wearing their life jackets, and no alcohol was involved in the incident.
Montana FWP is conducting an accident investigation, according to the release, and the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office is doing a coroner report.
Dave Holland, Montana FWP game warden captain, reminded all recreationists in the release to exercise caution on waterways during the summer boating season and to “always wear personal flotation devices.”
(UPDATE, 10:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 18)
A press release from a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks official obtained by MTN News late Tuesday evening confirmed that Tuesday’s Missouri river rescue uncovered two fatalities.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter has also released the identities of the two victims to MTN News. They are Dennis Sire, 66, and Karon Sire, 57.
David Holland, FWP warden captain in the Enforcement Division of Montana FWP Region 4, sent a news release just after 9 p.m. Tuesday to MTN News that stated there was a “fatal boat accident on the Missouri River in Great Falls” involving two jet skis that afternoon resulting in the death of two people.
Law enforcement and emergency crews initially responded to an area of the river near the Meadowlark Country Club and River Drive South around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Responders took a boat out on the river and could be seen towing a jet ski. GFPD’s drone was also being used.
Officials cleared the scene along River Drive South around 6 p.m.
The responding agencies are confirmed to have been Great Falls Fire Rescue, the Great Falls Police Department, Great Falls Emergency Services, the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office and Montana FWP wardens.
Montana FWP wardens continue to investigate the crash.
GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Fire Rescue (GFFR) and the Great Falls Police Department (GFPD), among other local agencies, responded to a river rescue on the Missouri Tuesday afternoon near Broadwater Bay.
“Expect increased traffic on lower River Road and Broadwater Bay at this time,” GFFR wrote in a Facebook post.
Responding vehicles and blockades are currently obstructing traffic on River Drive South across from the Meadowlark Country Club.
At this time, the apparent responding agencies include Great Falls Fire Rescue, the Great Falls Police Department, Great Falls Emergency Services and the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.
This is a developing story, and MTN News has a reporter on the scene of the rescue. We will provide updated information as it becomes available.