West Sacramento River Walk Event to Teach River Safety

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WEST SACRAMENTO -- Officials will be spreading the word about safe river practices Saturday at the West Sacramento River Walk.

National Safe Boating Week starts Saturday and at 10:30 a.m. at the West Sacramento River Walk local fire crews will be holding river rescue demonstrations.

The Coast Guard will partner with the Sacramento Fire Department and utilize their H65 helicopter along their boats to get people out of the water. There will also be demonstrations by local fire departments and the DART team.

Plus, there will be a world record challenge for most number of people wearing life jackets. The number to beat is 10,917.

Chris Harvey of the Sacramento Fire Department says there are a lot of important tips to learn before planning a trip to the river. Three major things to keep in mind include:

-Going in a group, or at least a pair.
-Telling people ahead of time and mentioning exactly what part of the river you will be going to and for how long.
-Taking advantage of free loaner life vests.

Harvey says loaner life jackets have been essential in making sure everyone stays safe in the river. Since the life jacket loaner program started, Sacramento Fire says there has been great improvements in their rescue statistics.

In 2015 there were 11 recreational swimmers who drowned within city limits. That excludes accidental falls.

In 2016 there were none. Officials want to keep that up for this year.