Clark Fork River Rescue Encourages Reminder – ‘Stay Off River Until Flows Are Back to Normal’
The Missoula Fire Department was called out to the Clark Fork River on Tuesday after receiving a call that a boater was stranded on an island.
"The canoe he was in dumped him. We got a call for a rescue on the river at about 4:30 p.m.," Captain Casey Veltcamp said. "We had our Battalion Chief dispatched, we had two engines dispatched, we launched the rescue water crafts, also Life Flight, and rural engine 211 was dispatched."
Capt. Veltcamp said MFD’s Rescue Water Craft were launched at McCormick Park while other engine crews were used as downstream safety off of south 3rd Street as river access is difficult below the Reserve Street Bridge.
"We were on the rescue water craft, the jet skis, and we went downstream and found him. We put him on the jetski and brought him to land where he was able to walk out with an engine crew of ours," Capt. Veltcamp said. "He was okay on scene. He was just stranded and unable to get out where he was."
Capt. Veltcamp said the river flows in the Missoula area have seen a significant increase and are expected to continue to rise. Peak runoff is typically in June and it’s recommended to stay off the river until flows are back under manageable flow rates for your level of experience.