BLACKFOOT — What started out as a fun float trip down the Snake River turned dangerous and then remarkable for Tom and Marlo Adams.
Tom, who went to the river with his wife and friends, tipped his kayak near the Tilden Bridge Boat Ramp and lost his new phone, keys, fishing pole, and wallet in the swiftly moving current. Although Tom was wearing a lifejacket and managed to swim out of the river unharmed, he was discouraged by all the lost property.
“I was thankful to be okay,” Tom explained, “but lost a lot at one time.”
Luckily, the Bingham County Search and Rescue Dive Team agreed to help. Although finding the lost items seemed improbable at best, the team met the Adams at the river on June 15 — three days after the kayaking accident — to dive in and look for Tom’s missing property.
“They use opportunities like this to practice and get more dive time in to prepare for the real calls, and more important events such as lifesaving,” Tom said. “Many members of the dive team met at the boat ramp, geared up, and hit the water. Because of the current, they had to use a safety line.”
Despite the strong current and the days that had passed since Tom’s kayak tipped, Jack Lusk, one of the divers, found Tom’s iPhone and keys within 20 minutes of entering the water.
“To all our amazement, [the phone] was still on!” Tom recalled. “It was still alarming from my Sunday morning wake-up call reminder.”
The keys, which Lusk also found, were resting on top of the phone. Both items were discovered under ten feet of water, not far downstream from the site of the accident. A short time later, Tom’s fishing pole was also recovered.
“We were so impressed with Bill, who coordinated the efforts of the team, and for all who showed up to recover my belongings,” Tom said. “My incident in the river turned into such a blessing.”
The Bingham County Search and Rescue Team, founded in 1962, relies on volunteers from the community and local law enforcement agencies to assist in rescue and recovery operations across the region.
The goal of the team, according to their mission statement, is to “locate, render aid, and provide quality professional, expedient service to persons in distress, minimize loss of life, injury, and property damage, and to provide professional body recovery services as needed.”
For Tom and Marlo Adams, the efforts of the team will never be forgotten.
“My family and I are incredibly grateful to the Bingham County Search and Rescue Dive Team,” Tom said. “We were so impressed with all of them and are grateful they use these opportunities to practice for the real, and more important, duty of saving lives later on.”
Attempts to reach Bingham County Search and Rescue were unsuccessful.