Kids learn the importance of life preservers

PFD lessons for local kids could save lives
Kids learn how to use free life preservers at Quinn's Pond
Posted at 10:41 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 00:41:59-04

Flows are dropping on the Boise River and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, so it won't be long before the river is officially opened for floating.

Unfortunately, most people don't wear life jackets on the Boise River.

Which is one reason Boise City and Saint luke's are reaching out to kids to teach them early the importance of being safe.

Every year, tens of thousands of people float the Boise River.
And most treat it like the Lazy River at Wahooz.
But it's most definitely not.
"In moving water even a good swimmer can be pulled down by the current very easily," says Captain Scott Hall, with Boise Fire.

There's branches and crags near shore called strainers that can drown you in an instant if you're caught in their grip.
And with two fatalities on Idaho waterways so far this year, Saint Lukes' and Boise Fire are trying to educate kids about life preservers and water safety early.

"You can't have fun if you're not being safe. so wear life jackets," says Hall.
At Quinn's Pond in Esther Simplot Park, they've installed a life jacket station for kids to borrow a preserver and replace when they're done.

Both St Luke's and Boise Fire recently spent the day educating kids how to use them properly.

Hopefully, that knowledge will carry over as the kids advance to bigger waterways like the Boise River which has powerful hydraulics and fast moving, cold water.

"If you're wearing a life jacket that's the solution to most of those problems." says Hall.

And don't forget, all kids 14 and under are required by law to wear a life preserver at all times on a boat.
Boise Fire says they will not be able to clear potential snags from the river this week.
So, don't expect the Boise to be open this weekend.
They say next week is a better bet.