Snake River Rescue, Life Saving and Life Changing
Channel 7 interviewed A Mountain Home family who ended up having a more adventurous day then they expected on the Snake River. Rachelle Ruffing and her family went out for a fun relaxing day of paddle boarding near Pillar Falls. After hours of fun they took a cute family selfie. Minutes after the picture, Rachelle saw an empty kayak pop through the falls in the water right behind them. Clearly alerted her and the rest of the family start to scope the water looking for the kayaks owner.
After a few minutes they saw a man face down in the water, his life jacket keeping his body afloat. Rachelle's daughters boyfriend who was hanging out with the fam that day jumped in and turned the man face up and was able to swim to a close pontoon boat. He seemed dead to everyone around. blue fingernails, no pulse, no breath. Rochelle began emergency CPR while another daughter called 911. After a few minutes, although to on lookers I am sure it seemed like an eternity, she turned him on his side, he coughed up water and started to breathe.
The young man was Brendon Lease. He and his kayak got sucked under a strong current at Pillar Falls, causing his lungs to fill with water. He was on a road trip with friends visiting from Michigan.
The Twin Falls Sheriff’s deputies showed shortly after Brendon started breathing again and they quickly got him to Saint Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center where he has since made a full recovery. Rachelle even went to check in on Brandon and even though this was the first time they actually spoke they felt a close connection. They hugged and shared a few laughs and gratitude to each other. They both said neither of them would every be the same after an experience like that.