Water Safety

May 17, 2010 7:25 PM

As the temperatures continue to rise, so do the number of emergencies on the water. On Thursday, a nineteen year old was rescued after getting trapped in the rocks under the Highway 99 bridge at Thomas Creek in Tehama County. Over the weekend, another nineteen year old from Berry Creek was rescued from the Sacramento River near Hamilton City after missing for four hours. John Scott, owner of Scotty's Boat Landing came to her rescue. "I'm surprised she was still alive when we got there. She was hypothermic and not in good shape. I was surprised that she did as well as she did," Scott explained.

It was late at night when she was on the river, something Brett Eagan from the Butte County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team says is not a good idea. "Night time is just a bad time to go down the water. We wouldn't even launch our boats at night, particularly when the water level is a little lower."

Earlier this month, law enforcement was flooded with calls when thousands of tubers floated down the river and a lot of them had been drinking. "Alcohol is a huge concern with us, that is primarily where we get our rescues and emergencies, so that's one of the major factors. Between the cold water and the alcohol mix, it's not a good combination," Eagan stated.

Another common problem to be aware of is the hidden snags, especially when the water is moving fast. "The strength of the water may not let you back off of it and it's extremely difficult so if you get caught on that you can easily drown and be pushed under the water," Eagan said.

About thirty percent of all calls from the Butte County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team are water related. It is an all volunteer organization. For information on donations, visit www.buttesar.org.


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