Basic Water Safety Tips

To help keep you and your family safe, here are some basic water safety tips from the Boise Fire Department.

  • NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED IN OR NEAR WATER. Children are drawn to water.
  • DO NOT SWIM IN CANALS.
  • Learn to swim. Seek out your local partners in the community that offer swimming lessons.
  • Use the buddy system; never swim alone.
  • Be aware that lifeguards are not present at City of Boise public swimming ponds.
  • Follow all posted rules. If no rules are posted, use common sense.
  • Wear a life jacket when swimming in or paddling on the water.
  • Practice physical distancing and always stay six feet from anyone outside your immediate household.
  • If a park or recreation area is crowded, be flexible and go elsewhere to avoid crowds.
  • The official float season for the Boise River typically begins in late June. Local officials, including Ada County Parks & Waterways and Boise Fire, will continue to evaluate options for the float season as summer approaches.
  • The Boise River is not recommended for floating or paddle boarding at this time. If you see someone in distress, call 911.
  • Swimmers with limited water experience should stay in water less than chest deep.
  • Know the water you are in and all possible dangers associated.
  • Do not swim if there are indications of bad weather.
  • Do not dive head first unless the area is clearly posted for diving.
  • Do not swim or boat while under the influence of alcohol.
Kids wearing lifejackets

Public Swimming Ponds

 The City of Boise’s Parks and Recreation Department manages several parks with ponds and water features open to the public for swimming, paddling and fishing. Please note: no lifeguards are on duty at public swimming ponds or at the Boise Whitewater Park. More information on amenities and hours of operation at each park location is available here:

Life Jackets

Due to continued concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the life jacket loaner stations at Quinn’s Pond and Esther Simplot Park are not stocked. All free life jacket loans are being coordinated through Idaho River Sports (601 N Whitewater Park Blvd.) located next to the ponds.

Does your child need a life jacket? Visit Idaho River Sports to have them fitted for a free loaner life jacket for use while you visit the ponds. These life jackets are made available through Boise Fire and Boise Parks and Recreation’s annual program, which is funded by a St. Luke’s Health System grant. Life jackets will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized in between uses while following all state and local protocols.

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