Rafting safety on the South Fork of the Boise River
A young woman died while floating the South Fork Boise River in Elmore County last weekend.
She was wearing a life jacket and floating the river on an inner tube when the accident occurred Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Mike Hollinshead told the Statesman on Tuesday.
Hollinshead released more information about the accident on the sheriff’s Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
It was reported at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday, about 3 miles south of Featherville.
“The citizen also reported a total of four individuals had been floating on inner tubes from the Featherville Bridge to the Johnson Bridge and encountered a logjam which spanned across the river and forced at least two of the individuals off their tubes into the swift, cold water. Three individuals were able to self-rescue to shore, with the victim last seen being pulled into the water by the swift current,” the sheriff wrote.
Searchers in the Pine area came upon four other stranded rafters — one of whom had a serious head injury. Water rescue teams searched for the woman until dark, while the ground team stayed there overnight, the sheriff said.
From the shore, the woman’s family found where she was trapped underwater. On Sunday morning, the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Dive Team worked with local teams to recover her body from the water.
“The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victim of this tragedy,” the sheriff wrote. “Additionally, we would also like to express our gratitude to the many volunteers and emergency responders who assisted in the search and recovery of the victim.”
Hollinshead hasn’t released the woman’s name. Elmore County Coroner Nickie Campbell did not return calls left for her Tuesday or Wednesday.
The woman’s death was the third river recreation death in Southwest Idaho in less than two weeks. An Enumclaw, Washington, woman died while rafting the Main Payette on July 4, and a Boise man died while rafting the South Fork of the Payette on July 11.