The following is a news release from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim was located this morning safe and alive. He was apparently able to get out of the water on his own downstream despite a lack of some physical abilities. The victim then left the area with other friends and failed to notify anyone he made it out of the water until this morning.
Deputies say that heavy intoxication was a factor in this case and could have easily resulted in a drowning.
Again, we remind everyone that the Snake River is very dangerous at this time and we urge extreme caution. Incidents such as this where alcohol and heavy drinking result in poor judgement put good samaritans, rescue personnel and others at risk.
IDAHO FALLS — Saturday evening just before 10 p.m., Bonneville County Sheriff deputies and Idaho Falls Fire and Ambulance personnel were dispatched to the Snake River at South Tourist Park to a report of a man in the river.
Deputies were told the man, 47 years of age from Idaho Falls, was with a group of people camping at the park when he went in the water and disappeared downstream.
Rescue personnel searched the immediate area with the assistance of Air Idaho Rescue, but due to low visibility and high water levels search efforts were suspended until this morning.
Deputies, rescue personnel and Idaho Falls Power employees will continue a search of the area Sunday from South Tourist Park downstream through the Sunnyside Power Plant to Gem Lake.
Water levels are still very high and swift with zero visibility which will prevent divers from entering the water at this time. Deputies believe the man is still in the river, was not wearing a life jacket and likely would not have been able to get out on his own. The man’s name is being withheld pending notification of family and this incident is still under investigation.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that conditions on the Snake River are extremely dangerous at this time and we urge boaters to stay off the water. We also remind everyone remotely near the water to use extra caution and avoid falling victim to the swift waters.
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com
Idaho State Journal staff
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com