Accident Database

Report ID# 3264

  • Swim into Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

We had the Barclay reunion here in Boise last fri- sun. On Saturday Jared and his Dad and Brothers decided that they wanted to go white water rafting on the Payette River. It is a very popular river and commonly used for rafting. Well Martin's (Jared's Dad) cousin Rick and his family decided that they really wanted to go too, so they all loaded up and were soo excited! They got up there rented a raft and some life jackets from some random rental place. They didn't think they needed a guide because they have all been rafting before. So they drove up to the river where everyone was putting in at this place called Banks. However it was really crowded so they drove just up the rode a tiny bit and put in further up.

Well they weren't in the boat 5 minutes before they hit a huge rapid and it threw the whole back half of the boat out into the river. Josh fell out along with Jake and Sharon (Rick's wife). Jake and Sharon were holding on to each other and the boat until Jake was hit in the knee by a big rock and lost his grip on everything. Then Sharon lost her grip on the boat. Meanwhile everyone in the boat was trying to sit back up and grab the ores and get everyone back in the boat but until they realize that Sharon has floated a good 20 feet away.

The river was calm here though, so they weren't really scared for her and they kept telling her to turn around, face downstream and swim to the shore. But she just held on to her life jacket and floated. She didn't try to swim or anything. She wasn't scared she just looked like she was enjoying floating.

Well after a second the boat gets stuck on a big rock at the tip of an island and while they are trying to get off the rock Sharon floats down one side of the island and when they finally get off the rock they get sent down the other side. So they stop the raft on the shore because they thought for sure that she would have gotten out on the island. They call her and they don't hear anything so then they jump back in the boat to see if she kept floating down the river and they get sent into this huge set of rapids where Jared falls out and was under water for about a minute. Once they get out of that they are pretty worried because if Sharon went through that she would be in trouble.

So they pull off on the shore and start searching for her and running for help. Some kayakers jumped right in and start looking for her and pretty soon there are around 5o-100 people looking for her. It took an hour and a half to find her. We think she must have floated backward and hit her head on a log and then the log's current pulled her under and she drowned.

It was horrible. When her husband found out he passed out and hit his head on the cement. She was 48 years old and has 3 girls and 1 boy ranging from 12 to 24. Her husband Rick just returned from serving in Iraq. My heart goes out to Rick and his children. It just absolutely breaks your heart.

 Sharon Irene Barclay, 47, drowned while she was rafting the North Fork of the Payette River, in Idaho. Ms. Barclay was on a raft with 10 people attending a family reunion. They put in about 3.5 miles north of Banks.The rafters had been on the waters for 10 minutes when the raft tipped, throwing Barclay and two teens fell into the river. Two teens were pulled back into the raft before the river split around an island. The raft went to the left of the island, while Sharon Barclay was swept to the right. When she wasn't found, a search began. They found her body under a logjam. The North Fork of the Payette above Banks has class IV and V rapids; this is not water that casual paddlers typically raft in. They clearly mistook it for the easier South for or Main Branch of the Payette nearby.

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