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Spring river safety workshop in Kalispell May 29

| May 24, 2024 7:00 AM

The Flathead Rivers Alliance announces a free spring river safety workshop on Wednesday, May 29, for the public to kick off the 2024 float season bringing in leading experts from North Valley Search & Rescue and Glacier Raft Company to get boaters ready for the water.

The workshop with industry experts will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sacred Waters Brewing Company - The Wild Side and back lawn, 3250 U.S. 2 East, Kalispell.

Learn from leading experts about cold water immersion, safety gear, river condition forecasts and handling spring river conditions. Representatives will be on hand to walk you through proper gear, demonstrations and share river search and rescue stories.

“North Valley Search & Rescue serves the Flathead River watershed in Northwest Montana with a territory that borders the west side of Glacier National Park and continues down to the Bob Marshall Wilderness. In the last six years there were a total of 37 call-outs that were on water," said Kerrie Lillie of North Valley Search & Rescue. "The total number of callouts categorized as swift water were 18 for that same period, averaging three per year. With a mission to aid as emergency arises we're not only invested in saving lives, but boosting awareness of safety measures before you head to the water.” 

Partners seek to boost efforts to eliminate preventable river fatalities and educate new and seasoned river users on what to know before heading out to the river in spring conditions. The Three Forks of the Flathead River are 219-miles of free-flowing river which lend to seasonal hypothermic water temperatures if not properly outfitted and fluctuating river conditions both in flow and hazards moving often submerged in the river channel. 

River conditions can make for a thrilling float. Knowing your skill level, proper gear and river and weather conditions is key to a safe and enjoyable experience.

No reservation is needed to attend the free event. 

Learn more about Flathead Rivers Alliance’s 2024 education, outreach and stewardship programming and events by visiting www.flatheadrivers.org.