RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – Metro Fire of Sacramento is urging people to be careful if they’re planning to hit the river for Memorial Day weekend.
The message comes after reports of a drowning and water rescue over the weekend.
You won’t catch Peter Cabral holed up inside his hot home during Wednesday’s triple-digit heat, though.
“We’re just going to go out there and then take the boards – a little boogie boards – float and just kick back and play some music,” Cabral said.
Metro Fire knows many more will do the same along the American River over the Memorial Day holiday.
“A lot of things that we’re looking for today are has the river changed during this last winter,” said Capt. Mark Nunez of Metro Fire.
During the training, they’re also looking for things that could interfere with a potential rescue. In some areas, the river may be only a few inches deep which is perfect for wading.
But Capt. Nunez warns poor swimmers may be in trouble in the wrong spot with sudden drop-offs. Near the popular Clay Banks area, he showed us an area where the water is at least 20 feet deep. There’s a fast-moving channel where rafters can get swept away a bigger problem is when people set out with the wrong types of flotation devices.
Kent Hansen often hears of rafters needing rescue. The co-owner of American River Raft Rentals says she started offering three-chamber floats. If debris punctures a side, it won’t completely deflate.
“The branch is going to make you lose air in one of the three spots of that tube filled with air, so you have plenty of time to get safely to the shore,” Hansen said.
Back on shore, Cabral says he won’t leave his life vest behind.
“Everybody needs to wear a life jacket,” he said. “They don’t find bodies with life jackets on.”