The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office shared an Instagram post on Wednesday (6/9) involving a successful river rescue. The incident appears to have occurred just downstream from the popular Duck Creek area west of Billings. According to the post, the department responded to the 911 call and was able to effectively retrieve the unnamed couple, utilizing a boat crew and the military surplus helicopter the department acquired in 2020.
Undersheriff Sam Bofto told us that they respond to at least half a dozen river rescues each year, with nearly all of them on the Yellowstone River. The agency frequently works with Billings Fire Department, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and even ExxonMobile (the company has water rescue boats, equipment, and personnel available to assist).
Bofto said the rescues are usually a direct result of people boating or floating during spring runoff. Oftentimes with floatation devices not meant for powerful water; like pool floaties, inexpensive rafts, or kayaks. The Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that the river contains a lot of dangerous debris this time of year, much of it invisible in the murky water. Boaters should exercise caution.
Michael Foth – Townsquare MediaMany local floaters say “Don’t do it” until 4th of July Weekend.
The 4th of July isn’t some magical day where the river