Police: Man dies after being submerged in Boise River




Posted on July 21, 2013 at 6:40 AM

Updated Sunday, Jul 21 at 6:41 AM

BOISE -- A 23-year-old Boise man has died, after an incident in the Boise River Saturday afternoon.

The man was sent to the hospital in critical condition, and passed away a few hours later. A police officer also had to be hospitalized from trying to chase down and rescue the man.

A call for river rescue came in just before 1 p.m. Saturday, near the Willow Lane Athletic Complex in northwest Boise.

Boise Police, Ada County EMS, and Boise Fire responded with the dive team.

Witnesses told police the man was boogie-boarding on the river using a rope tied to a tree.

The man's friends say he looked like he was pulling himself to shore with the rope. Those friends walked away, and say when they came back he was under water.

First responders told KTVB they believe he was fully submerged for around 20 minutes.

The friends of the man were able to call for help, pull the man to shore and start CPR. Firefighters and paramedics responded and took over, but the man was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Officers believe the man's boogie board was caught in some tree branches. He was still wearing the ankle strap attached to his boogie board when he was rescued, and officers say that may be what caught him under water.

"If people are going to be down here, we just ask them to use extreme caution," said Steve Rasulo from the Boise Fire Department.

A Boise police officer also had to be hospitalized for heat-related issues, after running along the river looking for the victim. The officer is expected be treated and released from the hospital by late Saturday afternoon.

"This stretch of the river is becoming more popular for people to float and play on, particularly since the white water park is open," said Rasulo. "This is an area that's not normally an area that we've done rescues on, and as we've already discussed, the access to this portion of the river is a little bit limited. So that does hamper rescue efforts in the event that somebody has a problem."