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Private/Commercial
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Accident Description


Shawn Wilsey on FB: The raft hit the bridge abutment and pinned, trapping father & son


From Jenni Chaffin: This was on the Hagerman Stretch of the Snake River. The story doesn't say, but the rapid by the bridge is called Slide Rapids. It was formed several years ago from a huge landslide.

"Some boaters consider the last rapids — Slide Rapids — the roughest set on the river. It’s just upstream of the take-out ramp. It can be scouted by going a few hundred yards upstream from the bridge on a dirt road on the west side of the river. There are a couple of large holes and an undercut cliff in the rapids, but experienced rafters negotiate the whitewater fairly easily. There is a long rock garden below the rapids, then rafters have to watch out for large bridge abutments before the take-out ramp at the Bliss Bridge. Some rafters who want to avoid Slide take out at Idaho Power’s Relish Ramp, which is well upstream of the rapids and off River Road."

Father, son die in Gooding County rafting accident

TIMES-NEWS, Twin Falls, ID  Jun 23, 2018 

BLISS — A father and son who recently moved to Magic Valley died Friday night in a Gooding County rafting accident on the Snake River. Travis Bergquist, 37, of Twin Falls was pronounced dead at the scene, Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough said Saturday. Bergquist’s 4-year-old son, Christopher, was transported by air ambulance to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, where he died. Their raft overturned near the Bliss Bridge at about 8 p.m.

Rebecca Bergquist, the wife of Travis, swam to an island after the raft overturned and was later rescued, Gough said.

“It’s a real tragic deal,” he said. All three were wearing life preservers, but “the water there is pretty fast and really high.” The father and son were initially holding onto the raft after the accident, “but what happened after that is anyone’s guess.” The victims were pulled from the Snake River more than a mile downstream from where the raft overturned.

The family recently moved to Twin Falls from Lemhi County, Gough said.

The Bliss Fire Department assisted in the rescue effort.

There is a long rock garden below the rapids, then rafters have to watch out for large bridge abutments before the take-out ramp at the Bliss Bridge. Some rafters who want to avoid Slide take out at Idaho Power’s Relish Ramp, which is well upstream of the rapis and off River Road