Boaters rescue floaters dumped into river

A group of private boaters came to the rescue Thursday afternoon when two floaters capsized their pontoon boat in the Yellowstone river upstream from the Pine Creek Bridge.

A team of eight responders from the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Search & Rescue, and Livingston Fire & Rescue came to the scene with a rescue boat, but they didn’t have to get into the water because three people in a raft were able to perform the rescue, Undersheriff Scott Hamilton said Friday morning.

“We really appreciate their assistance,” Hamilton said. 

The pontooners, a 68-year-old man and 69-year-old woman from California, had capsized in a side channel about 2:30 p.m. when they got caught up in some debris, Hamilton said.

They both went into the river. The man was able to self-rescue right away, but the woman was swept much further downstream with the current, he said.

While they only received minor injuries, the woman was pretty scared and shaken up from the incident, Hamilton said.

The other rafters who came along were able to collect the man and the pontoon boat, and then float downstream to rescue the woman before arriving at the Pine Creek Bridge river access, where they released the couple to emergency responders. 

Both the man and woman were wearing life jackets, Hamilton said.