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Saturday, September 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Man who drowned in Spokane River identified

UPDATED: Wed., July 3, 2019, 8:39 p.m.

Rescue crews prepare to launch into Latah Creek in search of a missing rafter Tuesday afternoon. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)
Rescue crews prepare to launch into Latah Creek in search of a missing rafter Tuesday afternoon. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane County Medical Examiner identified the man who drowned in the Spokane River on Wednesday while inner tubing as Benjamin J. Cullipher. He was 56.

A contributing factor in Cullipher’s drowning was a heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, a decreased ability to pump blood because of a weakened heart chamber.

Cullipher’s drowning was listed as an accident on the medical examiner’s website.

At about 4:30 p.m., rescue crews found Cullipher’s body in an eddy on the south side of the T.J. Meenach Bridge after his group of inner tubers called 911 to report he was lost from the group and separated from his tube.

Cullipher was not wearing a life jacket, according to Spokane Fire Department Chief Brian Schaeffer.

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