Staying safe while floating season begins

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Float season opens along the Boise River today (Friday) and lots of people have been itching to get out there.

But as fun as the river can be, it can also be extremely dangerous. Here are some things every floater should know before jumping in.

First, Idaho law requires all rafts, kayaks and canoes to have one life vest for each person on board. If there is someone younger than 14 years old, they must wear a life vest at all times.

To avoid trash in and along the river, Boise Parks and Recreation has four rest stops along the main floating route between Barber Park and Ann Morrison Park. At those stops, there will be trash cans and restrooms available.

While enjoying your time along the river, you can crack open your favorite beer or wine, but there are limitations. In order to drink alcohol, you must be outside the 250 foot riverbank zone, unless otherwise designated. Plus, for any beverage larger than 7.5 gallons, you will need to have a permit.

Recently added to the list of things allowed on the Boise River: Bridge jumping. But in order to do this safely, there are some rules to follow. It is illegal to throw or drop any object or person from a bridge or tree and you must be at least 50 feet from any boater or floater.

Keep in mind, the water is still pretty cold. Officials say if you start to feel uncomfortable, you should get out immediately to warm up.