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Body of Hayden man recovered from CDA River

| April 23, 2024 1:00 AM

KINGSTON –– The body of Hayden man was recovered from the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River on Saturday, following two days of searching. 

70-year-old Thomas Wise was fly fishing with his grandson near the Bumblebee area of the river when he slipped and fell into the swiftly moving water on Friday afternoon. 

Law enforcement and emergency rescue crews from across the region spent all of Friday searching for Wise, utilizing drones, jet skis, and several other methods but had to suspend their efforts when it became too dark for them to safely continue

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office for use of their dive team, who, along with the use of cadaver dogs, were able to locate Wise’s body in the river. 

“It breaks my heart to see our beautiful river claim another life,” Shoshone County Sheriff Holly Lindsey said. “My deepest condolences go out to Thomas's family. I cannot fathom the strength it must take to endure such a loss; my thoughts are with you during this difficult time. The SCSO extends our sincere gratitude to the Kootenai County Dive Team, Silver Valley Search and Rescue, Dawn Wiksten, and Sid Clark for their prompt response and assistance in bringing Thomas home.” 

Shoshone County Fire District #2 also assisted in the search and recovery efforts.

Conditions along the Coeur d’Alene River become treacherous during the later spring months when the annual spring runoff elevates the water level, which causes the river to flow swifter and reduces visibility in the water. 

These conditions make fishing potentially dangerous, especially if you are wearing waders – which can quickly fill with water and weigh you down. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to assist Wise’s family.