Boater drowns on Payette River
Man thrown from cataraft at Jaw Rapids
A 35-year-old North Idaho man drowned Saturday morning while rafting a treacherous stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River along Idaho 55. Boise County Sheriff Sgt. George Erskine said the man was operating a 16-foot cataraft at Jaws Rapids about 20 miles north of Horseshoe Bend when he was thrown from the raft and into the river at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The man, described as an expert rafter, floated downstream for almost a mile before other boaters pulled him to shore. Emergency workers and boaters performed CPR for an hour before the man was pronounced dead at the scene, Erskine said.
The man´s name was withheld Saturday night pending notification of relatives.
He had 25 years of whitewater experience and was wearing a life jacket, helmet and wet suit, Erskine said. He was boating with a large group of friends.
It was the man´s first trip on the North Fork, where the rapids have an advanced-level rating of Class V. The North Fork is described by guidebooks and experts as boulder-dense and horizontal with steep drops.
Saturday´s accident was the second drowning on the Payette in 10 days.
Edition Date: 08-25-2002