Floating group rescued from ice jam on Smith River - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Floating group rescued from ice jam on Smith River

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Mother Nature took April Fools Day a little too far for a group of floaters who got trapped in an ice jam on the Smith River Sunday.
 

Kendra Hoar, along with her fiancé and three others thought their rubber rafts and winter jackets could withstand the unexpected chill on April 1, but it turns out the remote river had other plans.

"Every corner we'd go around it would coagulate and we would just have to flow with it because we couldn't even put our oars through all the slush to push forward," said Hoar.  

To access the Smith River, you have to get a special permit. Therefore, Hoar and her group didn't want to give up their spot, which they reserved months ago.
Plus, when they put in on Sunday, the it was actually nice out, but when they camped that night, the weather took a turn for the worst.

"That's when that corner was completely frozen solid, so then all the slush was just starting to build up behind that frozen piece of it and we completely stopped."

Luckily, a couple of good Samaritans saw the struggling party. They helped them load their gear, get off the ice, and even gave them a ride back to safety.

"We feel so fortunate that those people were there cause we really don't know what it would have been like to have to go the rest of the way."

In order to protect public safety, Montana state parks officials closed 59 miles of Smith River on Monday. That order is still in effect.

The department says floaters are at risk of collisions with ice, becoming stranded in rural areas, and even drowning.

"They made probably a good choice in keeping people out for a few days," said Hoar.

However, the scary situation is not going to stop this group of adventurist from exploring the area. Hoar has already picked up a cancel permit for August.

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