Cambridge: Man Dies In Alaska

1 June 2013, 06:17 | Updated: 1 June 2013, 09:45

A man from Cambridge has died during a white-water rafting trip in Alaska.

47 year old Steve Morton is reported to have fallen from a boat while exploring the rapids and canyons of Six Mile Creek in the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, Sky News said. 

He is understood to have been pulled from the water unconscious and was airlifted to hospital in Anchorage where he died. 

His wife Vanessa Langlois told Sky News that her husband had been on a climbing holiday and just days earlier had reached the summit of the nearby Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in the United States. 

She spoke to him shortly before his fatal adventure. "He told me how happy he was to be coming home to see his fab family again and how much he had missed us,'' she told Sky News. 

He was buying gifts for all the children. 

He told me the people in his climbing team had suggested he go white-water rafting and that he would be given a test to make sure he was competent before he went.

His climbing colleagues knew him to be really strong and careful. 

They were experienced in rafting and must have felt he was able to handle the activity.'' 

An Alaska State Troopers spokesman told Sky News that Mr Morton was on a trip arranged with NOVA River Runners. 

The company highlights the dangers of the rafting route on its website, describing the risk of injury to swimmers as 'moderate to high', adding that water conditions 'may make self-rescue difficult'. 

It added that the route is graded as Class 1V to Class V, which could include 'obstructed or very violent rapids which expose a participant to above average endangerment'. 

The Foreign Office confirmed that Mr Morton died on Tuesday in Alaska and said it is providing consular assistance to the family.

The Cambridge News said Mr Morton had worked for international exams group Cambridge Assessment since 1998. 

A spokesman said: "It is with great sadness that we heard of the tragic death of Steve Morton in a white-water rafting accident in Alaska.

Steve, who worked with Cambridge Assessment on major IT projects over many years, set out on a trek early in May to climb Mount McKinley in Alaska and despite adverse conditions he made it to the summit.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve's wife Vanessa and their children.''