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Boise Fire warns of river conditions after man goes missing in inflatable kayak

A man on the left holding the remote to a drone, a pair of trashcans and a fast river.
Katie Kloppenburg
Boise State Public Radio
A drone was launched to aid in rescue efforts.

The Boise River is always running fast and cold this time of year and the Boise Fire Department issued a Dangerous River Condition warning last week. On Monday, Boise Fire and Boise Police responded to a report of a missing adult male kayaker.

A news release said the man's last known location was in the middle of the river channel near E. Parkcenter Bridge. The Boise Fire Dive Team recovered an inflatable kayak from the river.

A small red propellor boat with 'Boise Fire Dive Rescue' on the side and three men on the front of it.
Katie Kloppenburg
Boise State Public Radio

Nine fire units, including the river rescue boat and Boise Police officers with drones, searched the river and along the Greenbelt, but were not able to find the man, according to the release. Boise Fire called off the search at 4:15 p.m. and transitioned it from a rescue to a recovery effort. The Ada County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the incident as a missing person.

Boise Fire issued a Dangerous River Condition notice last Friday. The following river hazards can warrant the notice to be issued:

  • Swift water that can carry people and pets away
  • Cold water can cause loss of motor and muscle control
  • Debris in the river
  • High water levels create reduced clearance when going under bridges
  • Soft and unstable river banks

According to the United States Geological Survey, the stream flow at the Glenwood Bridge in Boise was just under 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Flood stage is at 7,000 cfs and for comparison, the river was at 1,360 cfs in Julyduring the float season last year.

If you see someone in trouble on the Boise River, do not go in after them – call 911. The dispatcher will need to know how many people are in the water and where they are located, whether that be the closest street, bridge crossing, park or Greenbelt mile marker.

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