Outdoors

No life jacket on the Selway River? God help us

Rafting the Selway River in Idaho requires considerable skill, wilderness self-sufficiency and advance planning to get one of the limited number of permits offered in a lottery drawing. RICH LANDERS  (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
Rafting the Selway River in Idaho requires considerable skill, wilderness self-sufficiency and advance planning to get one of the limited number of permits offered in a lottery drawing. RICH LANDERS (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

RIVER SAFETY — The number of drownings in the region's rivers this year has prompted a local campaign to get people thinking about reasonable safety practices. 

Most of the victims would be alive today had they been wearing life jackets.

Perhaps the most incredible drowning story of the season involves the University of Idaho Student from Nepal who died of drowning last weekend during a rafting trip on the Selway River.

The Selway is a wilderness river, one of the wildest in the region. Just getting a permit to float the river requires a lot of luck in a draw and a safety orientation.

You could watch a thousand rafters or kayakers go past you on that river over the course of a season and not see a single person without a PFD while on the river.

Life jackets are part of the attire on the Selway, just as rodeo cowboys wear jeans.

Wow. What can you say?




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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