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After storm scare, floaters reminded of river weather safety

ISLAND PARK, Idaho (KIFI)- A scary situation unfolded Saturday on the river in between Big Springs and Mack's Inn in Island Park.

Reports say 911 calls reported two groups of people stranded on the river. Deputies were able to rescue the 15 people who were floating there.

Deputies asked for some help from representatives at Mack's Inn to assist in the Rescue.

Derek Higgenbotham is the boat manager for Mack's Inn. He says, "Our main involvement was just shuttling and making sure when they got out there they had a warm place to sit or everybody was getting checked out. So, we had two vans out there."

Jim Plant, the area director for Ensign Hospitality, says they brought some things to warm up those who were rescued. "We just provided blankets for them. One of the employees here, her husband works for the fire department. And he brought up blankets and said, "'Hey, you guys are going to need these'. So, when they got there and they were freezing, they were in swimsuits. It was 48 degrees. I mean, it was it was cold," says Plant.

He says when they arrived people were extremely grateful.

"One of the ladies that got the van, her lips were blue. So we just provided the blanket for a warm place to go. She had gone away in an ambulance and but all the other kids, they were warm. They were good," Plant said.

Higgenbotham says when heavy storms are in the forecast they try to warn people about the conditions and suggest they try something else before getting on the water.

He says, "The biggest thing is watch the radar. You need to be completely aware of what's coming. There's a lot of good online resources that have radars on them. Just make sure that you watch it. If there's areas that are red or yellow. Try not to go out on the water."

Plant says for visitors interested in floating the river should, "Listen to the staff. They know what's going on. They're good crews and they're trained."

After yesterday's mayhem on the water, Nicole Lugo and her family prepped for their trip along the river.

Lugo says they try to keep a close eye on the forecast before they go on their trips and is looking forward to better weather ahead.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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