Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Ministry to LOCAL MONTANANS: "Rafter Drowns in River in West Glacier"


By Pamela Rae Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-

Recently, last Sunday, I was thrust into ministry to local people right here in West Glacier, Montana. That evening I went into the restroom at West Glacier Restaurant to use their restroom, and was shocked to discover two young women crying uncontrollably. I asked them what happened. They both told me that they had been in a rafting accident the other day,as their friend Robert tried to retrieve the oar of the raft as they rifted down the turbulent river. Without a life vest, Robert was sucked into the current unexpectedly and went underwater. He became missing and presumed drowned as a result.

 Due to snow melt from an unusually heavy snowfall this winter and a late spring/summer, the waters were very rapid and turbid.Robert did not stand a chance of survival that day.

The whole family was heartsick to receive this news. Robert's mother in fact had rented the raft for him and his friends that day. His children were greatly saddened. They cannot locate the father in Costa Rica at this time to tell him the sad news.

Both Michelle and Ashley poured out their hearts to me with grief and sorrow that night. We stepped outside the restroom and into the dark night outside the restaurant, and I prayed with both of them. I told them to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and to trust Him at this time of grief. We then prayed for the whole family. I was the ONLY CHRISTIAN ministering to them at this time!

They had been both drinking at the local bar next to the restaurant to drown their tears and heartache. But alcohol cannot take away the sorrow and the pain! Only God through Jesus Christ can heal the broken hearted and set the captive free!

PLEASE PRAY for the family surviving members of Robert Alsop. PRAY for all of them to come to Jesus Christ for salvation through this tragedy. Pray for Michelle and Ashley. And pray for me to help and minister to these precious local people here in Northwestern Montana.

-Pamela Rae Schuffert reporting from NorthWestern Montana

From the MISSOULIAN MONTANA newspaper-

A 37-year-old man who drowned in the North Fork of the Flathead River Sunday was identified Tuesday as Robert Alsop of Hungry Horse.Alsop was a passenger in a raft floating the frigid river downstream of Blankenship Bridge when he went into the river to retrieve a lost oar.Alsop, who was not wearing a lifejacket, never came up after going into the water.

"Nobody was wearing a lifejacket and it seems very likely that alcohol was involved in this whole thing," Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said Tuesday.

Curry said extensive searches took place Monday, as divers worked a large eddy that often catches items floating downstream between Blankenship and the Coram trestle.

"We worked that area pretty hard, and we don't believe he's in there," Curry said.

Because the river is still exceptionally high and murky, divers had a difficult time looking for Alsop.

"If you extended your arm full length, you couldn't see your fingers," Curry said. "It's tough conditions. Plus, most of the places where we'd have eddies this time of the year are still just flowing downstream. The water is still very high."

Curry said searchers in boats have worked both the North Fork and the main stem of the Flathead without success."We're probably going to put a helicopter up in the next couple of days to see what we can see from the air," Curry said.

The sheriff said searchers would continue to monitor river conditions and possibly would resume diving operations should the river clear.

"Right now we just want people to be careful out there, because we're not dealing with normal conditions," Curry said.

City editor Michael Moore can be reached at 523-5252 or by email at

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