First Responders: Region’s Rivers Are Treacherous and Deadly

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STANISLAUS COUNTY -- Each year the region sees a number of drownings and to prevent another tragedy firefighters in Stanislaus County are warning families to stay out of fast-moving, dangerous rivers.

A man was plucked out of the swift Stanislaus River and although the scenario was heart-pounding it was part of a training exercise Stanislaus Consolidated firefighters undergo.

It's a situation they say they encounter far too often.

"When the flows are up like they are now, we try to get as many members and many training days as possible," said Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department Capt. Paul Autry.

Firefighters want people to enjoy the natural beauty Knights Ferry has to offer but from a safe distance.

"Right now, we highly recommend that you stay out of the water," Autry said.

Hidden traps, caves and obstacles can be treacherous for visitors, as well as trained crews.

"Things that we used to know where they were are now under the water, so they’re not visible to us," Autry told FOX40.

Jumping into the water right now would be a shock to your system and it only takes minutes for hypothermia to set in.

If you visit the area keep an eye on your loved ones and stay away from the river.

"Ask that you do it where there’s other people, where the flows are a little bit slower," Autry said. "Watch your children and your animals."

The Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department does allow families to borrow life vests.

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