It was a busy opening day of float season on the Boise River Monday with 100+ degree temperatures and people looking for a place to cool down. In the span of five and a half hours Monday afternoon, Boise Fire’s Dive Team had 14 rescue assists with four of those being life-threatening/lifesaving rescues.
We want everyone to have fun and stay safe. Here are some river safety reminders from Boise Fire’s Dive Team:
-Wear a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when you are in or near the river. Everyone should wear life jackets, but it’s mandatory for kids 14 and under.
-Wear protective footwear and proper clothing to lower the chances of possible injury.
-Never float the river alone.
-Before you go, make a plan for parking. Many streets near Barber Park are designated as residential parking districts. Please look for no parking signs, if you park in an unauthorized area it could result in ticketing or towing.
During Your Float
-Do not float while under the influence of alcohol.
-Avoid low-hanging branches. Float in the middle of the river.
-Take breaks. The water is very cold. Know about the dangers of hypothermia and how to deal with it.
-Know early signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration in hot weather.
-Don’t tie tubes together. It creates potential hazards around bridges and restricts movement.
The dive team has been working hard to clean up the river, but not all hazards can or will be mitigated and recreationists should always be aware of the river environment and its dangers. The landscape is constantly changing so be prepared for new obstacles.
The water may appear calm, but it can be dangerous. Know your limits, come prepared with the right equipment, and have a safe and fun float!