Sacramento rescue divers go through training as weather warms up

Local News
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Drivers jumped into the pool at Mira Loma High School for a late February training exercise.

Members of Sacramento’s all-volunteer Drowning Accident Rescue Team practice underwater scenarios every month.

DART members maintained a highly visible presence last season at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers. The area is typically a trouble spot for drownings but last season no incidents were reported.

"We've tried to step up the amount that we're on the water using some of our assets like our jet skis and like our small boats," said Caroline Wilkinson with DART. "Because we find that when we're actively out on the water, we're able to respond to situations that arise much quicker."

With the weather warming up ahead of schedule, the divers' skills could come into play any day now.

"We are absolutely concerned about the hot weather that we're seeing," said DART President Zachary Corbo.

On a beautiful Tuesday at Lake Natoma, Brenda and George Ackley enjoyed their anniversary watching the boaters, kayakers and paddle boarders go by. But they were alarmed to see not a single one wearing a life jacket.

"And all my kayaker friends, we wear them. We’ve always worn them,” Brenda said. "I don’t want my kids to know that I drowned because I didn’t wear a life vest when I spent all that other time telling them to do it, you know."

DART volunteers also want people to watch out for hazards beneath the surface of the water.

"If you're a parent, keep an eye on the kiddos and keep an eye on how far away they are from you," Corbo explained. "If you are 20 feet up on the beach, remember you have to run that 20 feet plus however far they are in the water. You need to do it very quickly."

As a non-profit organization, DART relies on donations. More information can be found here: http://www.dartsac.com/.

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