Search underway for missing kayaker on the Bitterroot River

The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office continues to search for a 26 year old who fell out of a kayak at a log jam
Poker Joe FAS
Posted at 3:01 PM, Jul 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-11 11:57:44-04

FLORENCE - A search continues for a missing 26-year-old female whose kayak overturned in a log jam near the Poker Joe Fishing Access south of Florence on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office, the accident occurred on July 8, 2023, after 5 p.m. The missing 26-year-old was the only person in the kayak.

According to witnesses, after the kayak was able to be overturned the occupant was not seen. The kayak and a life jacket were later recovered.

Ravalli County Search and Rescue, the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office, the Florence Rural Fire District, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks hame wardens, and LifeFlight searched until 11 p.m. on July 8.

The search resumed search efforts at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Drones and helicopters from Choice Aviation have joined the search.

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton advises people who are on the river to be on the look out for the victim. She was last seen wearing a one-piece red swimming suit and a life jacket.

Anyone with any information or who sees anything is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 406-363-3033.

Poker Joe FAS

The Sheriff's Office is asking the public to not fly any personal drones over the area as they may interfere with the search efforts, and helicopters will have to be grounded if the drones are in the air around the search area.

Sheriff Holton also reminds everyone that the Bitterroot River is still dangerous with the numerous log jams and obstructions in the river.

People who are floating or boating on the river should be wearing flotation devices and children or inexperienced boaters should be with those who are experienced people who are familiar with the river and its dangers.

The search efforts will continue throughout the day and the evening.