Inflatable unicorns and swans may look cool to float on the Boise River, but Boise Fire says floaties like those can put your life at risk.
BOISE, Idaho — All kinds of floatation devices can be seen floating the Boise River, from 6-man rafts, inner tubes, air mattresses, and inflatable swans.
It’s the last two that are a big concern for both floaters and Boise Fire, especially after a very busy weekend for water rescues.
Boise Fire officials explained to KTVB what would be a suitable raft for the Boise River and what should be left at the pool.
Battalion Chief Jim Gross says that inflatables multiple chambers for air and thick fabric are best to float the Boise River with.
Gross says pool toys typically one have one main chamber for air, and if that pops or leaks air, there won’t be much air left in the rest of the inflatable left to keep people afloat.
River rafts, on the other hand, have multiple chambers to fill with air and have a mesh bottom. Gross says these are safer because if one section were to lose air, the raft could still keep you afloat until you reach the shore. A thicker material in the raft is also harder to be punctured by rocks or branches when floating the river.
He adds that the mesh bottom allows the water current to move through the raft better, which lets people get back into the raft easier if someone was to fall out of it.
MORE: Boise Fire says they have rescued an ‘abnormally high number’ of floaters from Boise River already
Gross says that much of the debris along the Boise River are pool toys that popped while people were floating down the river, so make sure to use appropriate rafts and inflatables when on the Boise River and not pool toys.
Other safety tips for the river also include wearing a life jacket and water shoes. Life jackets are required for anyone under 14 years old. Water shoes also help people get a better grip on slippery rocks when they need to get out of the river.
Boise Fire also says not to tie floats together because one whole group can get caught on something or get stuck if one person in the group does.
Alcohol is also never permitted on the Boise River.