Whitewater Express owner responds following fatal raft trip

(Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM)
Alvin Lino of Marietta, GA drowned while rafting in the Chattahoochee River (Source: Facebook)
Alvin Lino of Marietta, GA drowned while rafting in the Chattahoochee River (Source: Facebook)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Questions are still mounting after 46-year old Alvin Lino of Marietta, Georgia, died following a guided raft tour along the Chattahoochee River in Columbus.

"It's really unusual to have someone actually drown. If he was wearing a vest and a helmet, he should have been ok, unless he hit his head, which is the only other thing that could have happened," said one Whitewater Express visitor.

"Even with all of the gear to protect you, it is a high-risk activity. My prayers go out to his family and loved ones," said a Columbus resident.

The Muscogee County coroner's office says Lino was visible while in the water due to his life jacket but was unresponsive when he was pulled from the river.

Whitewater Express confirms that Lino was wearing protective headgear and a life jacket at the time, ensuring all safety measures were properly taken before, during, and following the rafting tour.

"The first rapid is not where we expected to have any incident at all. It is a clean and easy rapid, just a big wave, said  Dan Gilbert, the owner of Whitewater Express.

According to Whitewater officials, this was Lino's second whitewater rafting trip before the water incident enjoying the water adventure with family and friends.

Gilbert said while they are distraught over what happened, he does not believe anything could have been done to change the outcome.

"We went through the process again and again, with all my experience, I cannot find anything we could have done that would have made this situation come out any other way. The outcome is tragic and we feel so bad about that," said Gilbert following a Monday afternoon presser.

A close family friend confirmed that Lino did have a number of prior medical conditions, including heart issues, lupus, and circulatory issues.

Authorities are still looking into if any of these health issues played a role in his death.

An autopsy is being conducted on Lino's body.

The case under investigation.

This is the first fatality to happen during a Whitewater activity in the city.

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved.