By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
After eight boating mishaps on the Snake River required rescue operations by Grand Teton National Park staff in one month, staff members are reminding boaters to know their skill levels and put on a personal flotation device before getting out on the water.
Not only have there been eight incidents requiring park assistance, but “several” more that resulted in capsized or pinned vessels that were resolved with the assistance of partners or private boaters and without park personnel, according to a National Park Service news release.
Several boats have been sunk by or become tangled up in midstream log jams because their operators were boating outside their skill level, the release said. These instances can prove dangerous or even fatal.
One accident saw both occupants of a boat fall into the water after the boat hit a log jam. They were swept under the log jam, resurfaced and were swept under a second time. National Park Service officials said the two survived only because they were wearing life jackets.
While no deaths or serious injuries have resulted from the accidents, the Park Service news release noted there have been a number of close calls over the last month. Almost all of the incidents have occurred in the Deadmans Bar to Moose Landing section in the Bar BC area of the river.
This is the most accident-prone section of river in the park, due to the fact that it drops more steeply in this area and the current increases.
Boaters are reminded to tell someone where they are going and when they plan to return. If an accident or injury occurs, this information could prove vital if a rescue is necessary.