Jet boat rescue on the Yellowstone

Billings firefighters on jet skis try to rescue a man from the Yellowstone River. The man was found floating near a jet boat downstream of the new boat ramp at Blue Creek.

The man who was pulled from the Yellowstone River and died Sunday has been identified.

The Yellowstone County Coroner’s Office identified the man Tuesday as James Karls, 67, of Billings.

Karls died of asphyxia due to drowning, Deputy Coroner Richard Hoffman said. 

The man and a child were fishing Sunday morning before emergency crews were called at about 8:13 a.m.

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The Billings Fire Department and Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office had worked together to get Karls out of the water, where he was found unconscious.

When first responders arrived, the child was in a passerby's car, Battalion Chief Kevin Johnson said Sunday. Johnson said that CPR was performed on the man found in the water and that he was given to American Medical Response. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Officials had earlier said it appeared the man in the boat had suffered a medical emergency, but the autopsy turned up no evidence of a heart attack or other emergency prior to the drowning, according to Deputy Coroner Richard Hoffman.

The rescue took place along an area of the river about a mile down Old Blue Creek Road.

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