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9 people rescued from Ashton Reservoir after getting stranded during float trip

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Ashton Reservoir, Jan. 2020 | Google maps

The following is a news release from Fremont County Search and Rescue

ASHTON – On Saturday, June 6th at 8:38 p.m., Fremont County Sheriff’s Department dispatched Fremont County Search and Rescue to Henry’s Fork of the Snake River to rescue nine individuals from Bonneville County floating in tubes from Stone Bridge, northeast of Ashton, to Ashton Reservoir.

The tubers had toppled their tubes, were cold and felt they could not continue any longer. Six floaters ended up at Stone Bridge, and the other three were rescued by private individuals who transported them to their parked vehicle at Ashton Boat Dock. One individual required medical attention and was transported to Madison Memorial in Rexburg by Ashton EMS. The other five met up with the three at Ashton Boat Dock, and everyone was checked out by Ashton EMS personnel.

The rivers in Fremont County are running high, swift, and cold due to the runoff coming from the melting snow. Henry’s Fork was 48 degrees at the time of this search. Please use extreme caution when planning to swim, boat, fish, or float the rivers. Check the weather forecast for possible rain/snowstorms. Adhere to flash flood warnings. If one river in the area has a flood watch, it is likely that other similar rivers in the area are not safe to recreate either.

Hypothermia is a deadly unseen hazard. Getting caught underdressed and unprepared when a cold windy rainstorm hits will cause hypothermia as well as falling in a cold river.

Plan ahead, make good choices and live to enjoy years of recreational opportunities.

A reminder to anyone enjoying summer recreation activities whether, hunting, fishing, camping, boating, ATVing, trail riding, biking, or hiking:

  • Water-related activities, whether swimming, boating, skiing, or fishing require precautionary preplanning.
  • Wear appropriate water safety equipment when on or near water.
  • If possible, avoid participating in summer recreation activities without a buddy or companion.
  • Take necessary equipment and survival gear when venturing into the backcountry.
  • If you have a GPS and cell phone, be sure to take them with you, but do not rely on them entirely for a safe rescue if you find yourself in trouble or stranded.
  • Plan ahead. Make sure you know the area you are heading into before heading into it.
  • If you find yourself in trouble, stop, take a look around you, and do not go any farther. The farther you go, the more complicated and dangerous it is to get yourself to safety, also making rescue efforts more difficult and dangerous. Make mental notes in relation to any physical features or landmarks that would assist in your rescue.
  • Make a plan, stick to your plan, narrow the area, and most of all, let someone know WHERE you are planning to go and WHEN you are to return!

Fremont County Search and Rescue is urging you to exercise extreme caution when navigating, swimming, fishing, or any other water-related activities. These activities can be extremely dangerous and quickly turn an enjoyable activity into a disaster.

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