FEBRUARY 4, 2010

An unidentified man is shown standing beside a boat that became swamped after hitting a rock and turning sideways in the Clearwater River. Three people were fishing Saturday, Jan. 30, at approximately 12:30 p.m. downstream of the Clearwater/Nez Perce county line, near Highway 12 Milepost 37, when the accident occurred. Photo by Leroy Kuykendall

Three rescued after boat hits rock in Clearwater River

   Sgt. Jay Colvin of the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office reported three people were fortunate to escape injury when their boat struck a rock on the Clearwater River, downstream of the Clearwater/Nez Perce county line Saturday, Jan. 30, at approximately 12:30 p.m. The accident occurred at milepost 37. Officers from Clearwater and Nez Perce County responded to the scene.

   Jimmy Judd, Juliaetta and Barbara Spears, Rathdrum, were ejected from the boat. Both were picked up by a nearby boat and transported to shore. Kevin Otte, Rathdrum, was removed from the boat by the Clearwater County Sheriff Marine Rescue Team.

   Sgt. Colvin stated the aluminum fishing boat was headed downstream through a difficult stretch of water when it hit a rock. The boat then turned sideways and became swamped with rushing water.

    It was reported that none of the occupants of the boat were wearing personal flotation devices. Colvin stated, “If that other boat hadn’t been below them, we probably would have had a fatality.” All three people were checked by Clearwater County Ambulance EMTs and were found to be uninjured.

   The rock that the boat struck has been the cause of numerous accidents over the years and has led to fatalities. Saturday’s accident remains under investigation.