North State law enforcement agencies are teaming up to ensure Labor Day weekend is a safe time for everyone, including the thousands of tubers who hit the sacramento river. "There's a considerable amount of resources out here to try and make sure everybody is safe and sound on the river" said State Park Peace Officer Travis Gee.
Seven law enforcement agenices are on or around the river this year, including State Parks and Butte and Glenn County Sheriff's offices, that's because last year's labor day weekend drew more than 10,000 tubers. More than 100 rescues were made on the river last year as floaters indulged in alcohol under the hot sun, add in frigid water and you get a combination of dehydration and hypothermia. "You mix all those elements together and then you have exposure on the water for a period of time, it's a recipe for disaster" said Gee.
A new county ordinance is also being implemented. Barriers are up along one stretch of highway 32 and river road to keep tubers from parking on the busy roadway. " In years past we've had students hit on the bridge because people have parked on the shoulder, they're walking right across, motorists can't see them until it's too late" said Gee.
And those who participate in the yearly ritual floating down the river feel the higher police presence is a necessary move. Alex Tidd said "Hopefully they're here to keep us safe and keep a lid on things. I imagine they'll let quite a bit of fun happen with any luck". Paul Jameson adds " I think it's important cause there's always the loose cannons who aren't gonna follow the rules and what not".
A law enforcement command post has been set up across from Scotty's Landing which will give officers a better view point of the river and tubers. They are hopefull all the resources will not have to be used in the end.