West Gallatin Raft Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont) On June 27, 2020, at 3:40 pm, Gallatin County 911 received a report of a middle-aged couple who were rafting on the Gallatin River when their boat flipped over; the caller could no longer see them. Members from Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and first responders were able to quickly locate the couple and get them to safety. The woman was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The couple had been rafting on the Gallatin River and were just north of Gateway South Rd when they drifted under an overhanging tree branch which caught the side of the raft and flipped it. The couple floated underneath the overturned craft for 100 yards down river until they were able to grab onto a log.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Search and Rescue 2019 Annual Report

(Gallatin County, Mont) Last year, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue went on 108 calls, of which 42 were searches and 62 were rescues. It included 16 mutual-aid calls. One hundred and fifty-two volunteers dropped what they were doing to go help someone 1367 times and spent over 10,000 hours on calls and training. For more information on what happened in 2019, see our 2019 Annual Report.


Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Golden Trout Lakes Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont) On Sunday at 12:50 p.m. Gallatin County 911 received a call from a young woman who was hiking with a friend in the area of Golden Trout Lakes in the Custer-Gallatin National Forest near Big Sky. The local woman reported that she and her friend had attempted to return to their vehicle parked at the Upper Portal Trailhead when they became lost. The women had limited supplies and survival gear and their shoes and clothing had become saturated as they trekked through lingering snow drifts. The women were able to provide their approximate location using the GPS on a cell phone, which allowed rescuers from Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue to find them promptly and return them home safely before dark.

M Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont) At 5:15 pm on June 12, Gallatin County 911 received a call from hikers on the “M” trail, who reported they had seen a woman on the trail who was having trouble breathing. Members from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, AMR, and Bridger Canyon Fire Department responded. They reached the Oregon woman quickly and safely transported her down the trail. When they reached the ambulance, the woman said she suddenly felt very light-headed while hiking and then blacked out. AMR transported her to the hospital.

Stranded Motorists Rescued

(Gallatin County, Mont) On Monday, June 8th, at 11:30 pm, Gallatin County 911 was contacted by a stranded motorist who was on Foster Creek Road and was unable to stay on the roadway due to the slimy / greasy conditions of the wet mud. The motorist had two women with him in the truck. Two of them had potential medical needs but they were warm in the truck. They felt overwhelmed by the situation and asked to be rescued. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded with ATVs and brought all three back to pavement. A GCSO deputy gave them a ride home.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind people that when there is an “impassable when wet” sign on a road, please don’t drive on it if it has recently rained or snowed.

Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

House Rock Dumps Experienced Rafters

At 12:03 pm on Saturday, Gallatin County 911 received reports from multiple callers that a raft had gone over House Rock and dumped the rafters. Callers stated that two of the three occupants were in the river and the third rafter was heading down the Gallatin River without any paddles. Rescuers from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue from Big Sky and Bozeman responded to assist with the rescue. One of the rafters sustained a neck injury and was subsequently transported to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital by the Big Sky Fire Department. The other two rafters were uninjured. All three rafters were experienced raft guides and were wearing appropriate gear. The raft was retrieved with help from Montana Whitewater.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Friday’s Public Event

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is receiving calls from the public about tomorrow’s event in downtown Bozeman. Last Sunday’s event was held without incident and we have no reason to believe tomorrow will be any different. Local, state, and federal law enforcement in Montana have been communicating in reference to the peaceful demonstrations that have been occurring around the state and the information being disseminated throughout social media. There have been rumors of members of Antifa coming through Montana but at this time there is no credible information to the rumors. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with our partners throughout the state. Our main priority (as always) is the safety of our citizens.

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin