First responders find vehicle submerged in Snake River

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The Forest Service, JH Fire/EMS and Teton County Deputies responded to a vehicle submerged in the Snake River 1 mile south of Hoback Junction this afternoon. The vehicle was unoccupied. According to Bridger-Teton National Forest Public Information Officer Mary Cernicek, no one knew it was unoccupied at the time. Rescuers risked their own safety in instances like this. The Bridger-Teton cautions visitors to not go near moving water if you're not trained. Forest officials stress that we are still in runoff season. Many of the Forest's river Rangers, along with the local firefighters are trained for swift water rescue. Knowing what to do if you find yourself unexpectedly in moving water is important. The first few moments in the water can overwhelm a person. "Often the first thing that catches you is the coldness and then you find yourself caught in the power of the river where it is moving faster and you start knocking into submerged rocks and things you can't see," said Cernicek. Swift water rescue technicians respond with proper wet suits or dry suits, helmet, ropes, flotation devices and other safety gear. There is still snow melt coming into the streams meaning river temperatures are easily in the forties. "In cold water like that, it wouldn't take too long for someone to get hypothermia, and lose the ability to stay afloat and think clearly," she added. “Some of the streams have already peaked, some still have yet to peak, so it is important for everyone to check river flows and conditions before heading out onto the Forest. " This week, fire crews trained in the Provo River to get a sense of how powerful the water actually is. They said training in other canyons is still too dangerous. This is the first vehicle in the river rescue calls that the Forest has responded to this summer season. We encourage our visitors to get outdoors and enjoy the rivers and streams on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, as long as you go prepared. “Please closely watch children, and pets—and make sure if you do have an incident on the river you let authorities know right away that you self-rescued, or if someone is in need of help. We don't want to put our law enforcement or firefighters at risk unnecessarily," Cernicek Added. #buckrail #news