Two People In Floats Rescued After Rafts Overturn In Boise River


By Paul Johnson

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Boise Firefighters rescued two people Sunday Evening after their rafts overturned along the Boise river. Firefighters were called to rescue the people around 7 pm Sunday near the Parkcenter Bridge. A witness reported a woman holding onto a piece of wood pinned against a pillar beneath the bridge. "The river is running higher and colder than the typical float season. Anyone planning to float the river needs to be aware of the conditions," said Boise Fire Battalion Chief Tom Pawek.
Members of the Boise Fire Dive Rescue Team responded with a boat and personal water craft. Firefighters were able to reach the woman, who was cold and scared but otherwise uninjured. As they took her to safety, a male who was also in the floating party told firefighters he too had fallen out of the raft and into the river when the raft hit the pillar. He had been able to swim to shore but reported two other people who were also in the raft whose whereabouts were unnown. Firefighters searched and did find the other two rafters had safely arrived at the take out in Ann Morrison Park
As firefighters were getting the woman to safety, they witnessed another raft get pinned up against a different pillar on the same bridge, knocking two women into the river. Both women were wearing life vests. Firefighters were able to quickly get to the women and get them safely to shore.
Before clearing from the call, dive team members made a quick sweep of the river from the take out at Ann Morrison Park to the put-in at Barber Park to make sure no other floaters were in trouble.
Currently the river is running slightly above 1500 cfs. Normal flow during the float season is 900 - 1,000 cfs Also, because its early in the season, water coming from deep in Lucky Peak Reservoir is very cold.
"These conditions can get the best of even a very good swimmer," said Battalion Chief Pawek. "Rafters need to be prepared, wear life jackets, shoes and take other safety precautions, always be aware of the river current, where they are, and remember the river conditions change daily,"

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