Metro Fire crews stress water safety after recent drownings

Local News

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (KTXL) — A teenager drowned along the American River Saturday.

Metro Fire says the body of a 17-year-old boy was found late last night at the El Manto River Access in Rancho Cordova.

Rescue crews spent around four hours searching for that teenager before finding the body at around 11 p.m.

This marked the third drowning in the past two days and four in the past week in our region.

It comes at a time when first responders are reporting seeing an increased number of people not wearing life jackets.

Water officials are worried if people aren’t careful more people could drown we get into the summer months.

Even with the lower river levels safety officials say don’t let that fool you.

“Unless you are a professional Olympic type swimmer, that river can overpower you,” said Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal.

Vestal says the most recent drowning in the American River is one example, but a bad trend safety officials are seeing is not enough people wearing life jackets or safety flotation device.

“The currents in the American River, although they are low right now, they are still strong compared to the strength anyone has,” Vestal said.

He recommends people wear a life jacket and always designate a person to keep a close eye on whoever is in the water.

“One of the things as the water drops lower, there are more surface-level obstructions that you can tangle your feet in,” Vestal said.

Vestal says lower river levels or not, the impact to your respiratory and your muscle control systems for being in cold water for too long is the same.

“Just do it safely,” Vestal said. “We don’t want to see you when we are responding to an emergency.”

Captain Vestal says the reason why it’s important to designate a person to keep an eye on whoever is in the water, if things go south, they can get help right away before it’s too late.

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