SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It was a close call for a family of eight on the Sacramento River after their boat starts sinking near Discovery Park on Monday.
Passing boater Mark Duchesne and his son-in-law Justin Kellar saw the vessel sinking and tried to help.
“I made a U-turn and within seconds their boat capsized,” Duchesne said. “[I] started grabbing kids out of the water.
The family tells investigators the bow of their boat was swamped by water from the wake of a passing boat.
“The nose started going under and then, before they knew it, they took in so much water there was nothing that could be done,” Kellar said.
Members of Sacramento’s Drowning Accident Rescue Team (DART) have been patrolling the area all weekend long and came across the chaotic scene.
“There was gas cans and, of course, a bunch of victims hanging on to the capsized craft,” said Jim Remick with DART. “We checked for injuries, everyone seemed to be ok, everyone was accounted for. Thank God they were all wearing life vests.
Since 1980, DART volunteers have responded to recover victim’s bodies from valley waterways. But now they have funding from the county to proactively patrol the river and try and prevent any further tragedies.
“We’re out here Memorial Day through Labor Day Saturday, Sunday and every holiday,” Remick said. “It’s making a big difference.”
Water rescue officials say there were no recreational drownings last summer along Sacramento’s rivers.