On May 1st, 2023, at around 2:45 pm, Boise Fire and Boise Police responded to a report of a missing adult male kayaker on the Boise River. Witness reports show the kayaker put in at Barber Park, and his last known location was in the middle of the river channel near the E Parkcenter Bridge. The Boise Fire Dive Team recovered one inflatable kayak on the river. Nine Boise Fire units, including the river rescue boat, and Boise Police with drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) responded to the search on the river and along the Greenbelt. They were unable to locate the male subject. At 4:15pm, Boise Fire called off the search and transitioned it from a rescue to a recovery effort. The incident is being turned over to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office to investigate for a missing person.
“Dangerous River Condition” signs are posted along the river, and Boise Fire strongly encourages people to stay off the Boise River. Current flows are right around 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) making river conditions extremely dangerous for people and pets.
These following hazards warrant the “Dangerous River Condition”:
- Swift water that can carry people and pets away rapidly.
- Cold water that can cause even the best swimmer to be incapable of swimming due to loss of motor control/muscle control.
- Debris in the river can injure people and contributes to extreme risk.
- High water levels create reduced clearance when going under bridges.
- Soft and unstable river banks.
- If flooding takes place it can make access to river more dangerous, if not impossible.