Accident Database

Report ID# 116215

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

UPDATED: TCSAR responds to accident on Snake River; Victim identified


July 5, 2022

JACKSON, Wyo. — On Monday afternoon, the Fourth of July, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR) responded to a presumed floating accident on the Snake River. Authorities responded to the incident between the South Park and Astoria boat ramps. 22-year-old Hector Bedolla-Zarate was found unconscious on the section of the Snake, down river from King’s Wave. A group of private boaters pulled Bedolla-Zarate to the shoreline on river right and began initiating CPR efforts. An EMT within the group of responding private boaters continued CPR while Fire/EMS and TCSAR made their way to the scene.

The initial 911 call came from witnesses at 5:17 p.m. Fire/EMS Chief Brady Hansen made it to the road side of the river just three minutes after the initial call. Hansen arrived at the location of the victim within 8 to 10 minutes, stating that getting down to the riverbank was challenging due to rocky and hazardous terrain. Teton County Coroner Brent Blue confirmed the victim’s identity and age but stated the cause of death as pending. Bedolla-Zarate was not wearing a life jacket while tubing. Witness accounts shared that he came out of his tube somewhere between the hydraulic river above King’s Wave on river left and the strong eddy line just below the Wave.

Buckrail offers condolences to the family and friends impacted by this accident.


Ranger Dave Cernek said: This section used to be just fishing boats, then almost overnight became the inner tube party section on holidays and weekends. Horrible eddylines and hydraulics. Wouldn’t take a beginning kayaker on it. Right around 8k; med flows; Class II; no PFD.

From David Rogers: I guide on that section a lot. There is a 1/2 mile below kings wave that we used to call "the Octopus". It features about 4 very strong eddy lines in a series of constrictions in the river bed. Even at low water the boils and whirlpools are strong. At 8,000 I wouldn't want to swim it even with a PFD. I don't believe a swimmer could break out of any of the big eddy lines with out help, I can't believe all the drunk people who do it in the summer aren't dying in big numbers.

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