Man released from hospital after Gallatin River rescue


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Members of the Gallatin County Search & Rescue teams and the Gallatin Gateway Fire Department rescued a father and son Sunday from the Gallatin River.

The father was released from the hospital Monday, and the boy is uninjured.

According to the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office the 6-year-old boy and his father were on a family raft trip with a woman and two other children when the raft turned over. The boy was swept away, and his father swam after him.

The incident occurred about a mile south of Axtell Bridge, officials said.

Swift Water and Heli teams responded to the incident, which officials said was called into dispatch by a witness. REACH Air Ambulance flew the father to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

Deputy Erin Taylor told NBC Montana at a press conference Monday he thinks people should think twice before floating the Gallatin this week.

"The river is very high right now, and it's extremely dangerous," Taylor said. "If you don't have the proper skills or preparation to handle that river you should not be out there."

The child was wearing a full-body life preserver with flotation devices in the arms, Taylor said. Officials were not able to confirm if the father was wearing a personal flotation device.

Richard Gauron and Sean Komora, members of the Gallatin County Tactical Dive Team, encouraged parents to have their kids wear the flotation devices in a controlled environment before using them on the river.

"The first time somebody tries a PFD in the water should not be in a real emergency," Gauron said.

The divers recommended finding a life preserver that is suited to the activity and weight of the person wearing it.

Gauron says keep your feet up and your body in a flat position if you get swept up in the river's current.

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