◆ August opens with wild weekend on the water.
Saturday August 1, came with a wild ride for area boaters and first responders.
“At approximately 6:15 p.m. dispatch began receiving multiple 911 calls about a storm burst over the Palisades Reservoir area causing several boats to capsize and fill with water,” said Bonneville County Idaho Sergeant Bryan Lovell. “Lincoln County Wyoming dispatch also received multiple 911 calls as the area affected on the reservoir was near Alpine.”
Deputies from both Idaho and Wyoming responded to the reservoir, along with rescue personnel and medical staff from Alpine and Swan Valley.
“As the information sorted out they found at least three boats had capsized or taken on water,” said Lovell. “One of those three, with one adult occupant, was removed by the owner and did not require assistance from emergency responders.”
“A second boat with six people on board, five adults and one teenager, capsized during the storm and briefly trapped an adult female underneath,” Lovell continued. “The woman was wearing a life jacket at the time and was able to free herself from under the boat but suffered a cut to her head. One other occupant injured his back during the incident and was also wearing a life jacket at the time. The other four occupants were uninjured and three of the four were wearing life jackets. Nearby boaters on jet skis assisted all 6 occupants to the shore and guided emergency personnel to their location.”
The first responders “located the third boat that had capsized and had two adult occupants, both of which had to swim to the bank as their boat took on water,” Lovell explained.
“Both individuals were uninjured and able to tie the submerged boat off near the shore,” he said.
According to Lovell, deputies with the “Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team responded to the Palisades Reservoir on Sunday Aug. 2 to retrieve the two remaining submerged boats.”
According to Lovell, the sudden storm burst and resulting emergency situations serve as a good reminder as to why life jackets are important.
“Weather and conditions in our area can change very rapidly with no time for occupants to stop, retrieve, and properly put on a life jacket,” he said. “Always plan for safety, constantly watch weather and water conditions, and never under estimate what can happen. Never operate a watercraft if you’ve been drinking or using illegal drugs and report other boaters who may be impaired or putting others at risk by unsafe boating habits. Make safety and proper planning a priority whenever you’re on the water and you will greatly reduce the risk of having to be rescued.”