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No injuries after overloaded boat sinks on Blackfoot Reservoir


The following is a news release from the Caribou County Sheriff’s Office.

SODA SPRINGS — At about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, July 10, the Caribou County Sheriff’s Communication Center was made aware of a boat that had sunk on the Blackfoot Reservoir north of Soda Springs.

The initial report indicated that seven people had been aboard the vessel and all seven had made it safely to shore. The Caribou County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol was activated and responded to the area along with Caribou County EMS.

The Marine Patrol deputies were able to locate the vessel which had capsized with only a small portion of the bow above water. The vessel was recovered by the Marine Patrol deputies and returned to shore. The boat occupants were attended to by EMS personnel. The vessel was a 16-foot flat-bottom boat. The owner is from the Preston area.

The initial investigation found that the vessel was being used for nighttime bow fishing approx. ½ mile from shore. The vessel was not registered, overloaded beyond capacity and no personal floatation devices/life jackets were on board. The investigation is continuing into the incident.

We are extremely lucky that this incident turned out the way it did. With it being nighttime, no life jackets, cold water, alcoholic beverage on the boat, and ½ mile from shore, this could have easily turned into a horrific tragedy.

As the summer season progresses, and our local waters warm up and become more attractive, please remember to boat wisely and safely. Most boats require a Coast Guard-approved life jacket to be readily accessible and appropriately sized for each occupant with at least one throwable floatation device. If you have a child 14 years of age and younger, they are required to wear a life jacket on boats under 19 feet at all times.

Boats should have a capacity plate mounted in the boat. This plate will let you know how many people can safely and legally be on the boat. If that capacity plate is missing, you can easily find out the capacity of your boat with the simple formula of length times width divided by 15. A boat that is 12 feet long times 4 feet wide divided by 15, would have a capacity of 3 people weighing 150 pounds each or 450 pounds.

If you have any questions on boating laws and boating safety practices, please contact your local Sheriff’s Office or Idaho Parks and Recreation.

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