By Marissa Perlman


RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — A Rancho Cordova man says he’s lucky to be alive after his kayak flipped and he was rescued along the American River.

He was with his dog Dusty, who died in the accident.

Wednesday marks an official heatwave in Sacramento County, and first responders say the number of river rescues is up.

“Please be safe,” said Ruth Lindey after her son, Robert, was rescued.

“It’s so hot outside, but the water is very, very cold. It’s the snowmelt,” Lindey said.

With triple-digit heat once again, cooling off in his kayak quickly became devastating for Robert Lindey and Dusty.

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“Fortunately we have our son, who was able to be rescued, but the dog drowned,” Ruth Lindey said.

Ruth Lindey said they were moving along the river when somehow their kayak flipped.

“It can happen quickly,” she said. “If you dunk in the water the water, it’s so cold, and I’m not quite sure how he got rescued, but that water is so cold.”

They were both wearing life jackets at the time.

Chris Vestal with Metro Fire says, “This type of water, these flows,  is not something that this dog is going to be able to overcome, let alone a person.”

Vestal tells us a neighbor living along the river saw Robert struggling and called for help.

“He traveled for at least two or three miles down the river until we were able to rescue him,” Vestal said.

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He was rescued near the Watt access point of the river. Vestal says the number of calls for river rescues is up, as people try to escape the heat.

“We are seeing very fast water, very cold water, and most people aren’t really ready for that yet,” Vestal said.

Now Lindey and his family want to send a warning to other kayakers, this water might seem refreshing, but it is dangerous.

“He just wants everybody to know, please be careful, be really careful on the river,” Lindey said.

Vestal says the river is flowing about four or five times the normal flow rate for the American River this time of year.

Marissa Perlman

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