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Lynden woman dies after falling into Nooksack River during afternoon walk

The sun is shining, but swimming in Whatcom lakes and rivers in spring can be deadly

Swimming in Whatcom lakes and rivers in spring before water temperatures rise can be a deadly. Here are some tips for avoiding cold water shock.
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Swimming in Whatcom lakes and rivers in spring before water temperatures rise can be a deadly. Here are some tips for avoiding cold water shock.

A 56-year-old Lynden woman died after she fell into the Nooksack River while walking on a trail south of Lynden Thursday afternoon, May 23, according to a press release from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Gurmeet Kaur was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s hospital after search and rescue crews removed her from debris in the river.

According to the release, the sheriff’s office was notified at approximately 3 p.m. that Kaur had fallen into the river near River Road and Flynn Road.

When they arrived, Kaur’s husband told deputies that he was walking a short distance ahead of his wife on the trail along the Nooksack, when he heard a splash and screaming, the release said.

The husband saw Kaur, who reportedly did not know how to swim, being swept downstream, according to the release, so he ran back to the parking lot and found another person, who phoned 911.

Sheriff’s deputies, including the Marine Unit, responded, along with the Whatcom County Search and Rescue Summit to Sound team and 4x4 volunteers, while the Customs and Border Protection sent a helicopter to aid, the release stated.

The helicopter soon located Kaur, who had become submerged approximately 2.3 miles downstream from where she fell into the river, where she had become entangled with some logs and debris near Ritter Road, the release said.

Search and Rescue personnel arrived on scene at approximately 4 p.m., and were able to remove Kaur from the debris and get her to a nearby river bank, where aid crews started resuscitation efforts and transported her to Bellingham.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.

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