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Author believed dead in river

BOISE – An adventuring Idaho poet, author and photographer is likely dead after a kayaking accident.

William Studebaker, 61, of Twin Falls, was boating with friends on the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River south of Yellow Pine, Idaho, when he was reportedly seen swimming for shore, according to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.

Studebaker was later seen floating facedown in the river, but his body hasn’t been located.

He was the author of about a dozen books of poetry and nonfiction, including “Short of a Good Promise,” a 1999 reminiscence of growing up in the remote Idaho backcountry following World War II.

Friends said he was an expert kayaker who was attempting to navigate large, Class V rapids that follow each other almost without interruption. Authorities believe his body is submerged on a 100-yard stretch of turbulent water known for its deep pools and tricky currents.

“He’s in some really deep water that’s extremely swift,” said Valley County Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Adams on Sunday. “More than likely he’s under water, under a rock or some branches.”

Studebaker leaves behind his wife, Judy, and four sons.


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