Due to a dramatic increase in drownings along the Sacramento and American Rivers this summer, officials are going above and beyond the usual enforcement steps to make sure of the community’s safety. KCRA 3 reports that over the past month and Labor Day weekend, state rangers and police were out in full force. They patrolled the local beaches and waterfronts, enforcing a variety of county codes. Authorities were especially on the lookout for booze and anyone seriously intoxicated, as they are the greatest risk to themselves and those around them. Chief Park Ranger Michael Doane was quick to remind everyone that drinking along the river “Is banned from Hazel all the way down to Watt Avenue.” But despite extensive ranger and law enforcement warnings, fines and seizures, many people still chose to violate local ordinances.
However, authorities suspect this disregard for the rules and very active summer on regional waterways may be only part of the overall picture. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, a report released the by Sacramento County Coroner’s office, drownings along the Sacramento and American Rivers are roughly four times the normal amount. The numbers jumped from an average of 1.5 a year to six so far in 2015. Some officials suspect the drought also may be playing a role in so many deaths. Bob Erickson with the Drowning Accident Rescue Team suggests the lower than average water levels have encouraged swimmers and others to wade out too far. “You’re waist deep and you go a couple more steps, and all of a sudden you’re gone,” Erickson suggested. This factor, combined with extremely fast currents found in local rivers and intoxicated boaters, can quickly lead to a deadly situation.
While the summer season is coming to a close, above average temperatures will certainly encourage visits to local waterholes. It’s important to keep your safety, as well as your friends, family and neighbor’s safety in mind when you are out on the river.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in accident in our region’s waterways or public pools, you may have the right to pursue legal action. For more information on filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, contact the attorneys at the Demas Law Group, P.C., and schedule an appointment. We can be reached at (916) 444-0100.