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Everett City Councilman Drew Nielsen died Saturday in a rafting accident on the Green River.

“We’ve all lost a real, good friend and colleague,” fellow councilman Paul Roberts said today.

The Everett Herald reported that Nielsen, 61, was rafting near Black Diamond with his wife, Kim, and several friends. The raft flipped. Nielsen’s wife was able to escape, but he was not.

Roberts said Nielsen was an avid rafter, and was very safety-conscious. “He was well-equipped and took it very seriously,” Roberts said. “He was not a person that would take unnecessary risks.”

Nielsen was re-elected to his third term on the council last year, Roberts said. He was an attorney who specialized in real estate law.

He was a passionate advocate for open government and public access to shorelines, Roberts said. “Because of his real-estate background, he brought a great set of skills to the work of the community. He was a brilliant attorney.”