One Afternoon on the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office Boat
I got to witness a search for a possible dead man.
Deputies from two counties were looking for a drowning victim. He apparently was BASE jumping off the north side of the Snake River Canyon above Pillar Falls. He went into the river and witnesses say he never emerged. On Friday, deputies from both Jerome and Twin Falls County were on the patrol boat and hoping his remains could be recovered. Later in the day there was a near drowning at Pillar Falls.
the river has no center yellow lines and there aren’t any white lines along the shoulders
In between, I had an opportunity to take to the river aboard the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office patrol boat. The crew took me from Centennial Park to Pillar Falls and then back to the park. I got to witness what they see on these warm weather days. The river is a highway. It’s filled with kayaks, boards and boats. It’s like a small community.
On the other hand, the river has no center yellow lines and there aren’t any white lines along the shoulders. Rules are posted where boaters and kayakers launch in the park but apparently many people simply don’t read the signs. I suspect it’s because for many the thrill of getting to the river suddenly overrides their own safety mechanisms.
I’m reminded of taking the children when they were young to an amusement park. They would spot a ride and then take off at full trot without looking around the area. Generally O.K. in that situation because there wasn’t traffic and water with a depth of 54 feet.
The boat is high-tech. The pilot has a screen. Which provides details on depth and water temperature. On Friday depth in river center varied anywhere from just under eight feet to over 50 near Pillar Falls. Water temperature was a chilly 60 degrees.
And in every direction you looked you were likely to spot a violation. Last week we spoke with Sergeant Ken Mencl about the need for members of the public to keep their heads on straight when on the river. You can hear the conversation by clicking below on the video: