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The Boise River: A Boatload of Fun, But Potentially Dangerous

There’s almost nothing better than spending an afternoon on the Boise River. Whether you’re floating on an inner tube or kayaking to spend a day at Ann Morrison Park, you’ll likely find you’re one of many taking advantage of one of Idaho’s best natural wonders.

Unfortunately, spending time on the river has ended in tragedy for many. In 2007, a woman was snagged on a fallen tree in the river and almost drowned. In 2013, a 23-year-old man died after his boogie board was pinned down by debris and held him under water. Additionally, a fisherman died in June of 2014 after being swept away by the current.

Getting On Board With Safety May Save Your Life

Although you can never fully prevent something devastating from happening, you can take the following steps to decrease its likelihood:

  • Abide by the life jacket law. Idaho law requires that vessels, including kayaks, rafts, and canoes, are equipped with enough life jackets for each member on board. Children age 14 and younger onboard vessels that are 19 feet or less in length are required to wear personal flotation devices. Of course, to be safe, you should always wear a life jacket, particularly if you are not a strong swimmer.
  • Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol consumption is legal in Boise parks, including those that border the river, boating while under the influence is not. In fact, boaters can face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for boating with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or more. Additionally, boating while drinking increases your chances of crashing into another person, falling overboard, and a variety of other dangers.
  • Use common sense. Even the most experienced boaters often go against their gut instincts when it comes to spending time on the river, and suffer as a result. If you are feeling apprehensive about the weather, the current conditions of the water, or any other hazards, use your best judgment and stay off of the water.

Don’t Allow Your Time on the Water to Turn Into a Nightmare

If spending time on the river resulted in you becoming injured by another boater, you have rights. Contact the Morton Law Offices to find out what they are.