Concerns mounts over 4th of July river safety

Fire rescue crews are worried about river safety on the upcoming 4th of July weekend.

With thousands of rafters, kayakers and swimmers expected to flood Valley rivers, fire and rescue workers are concerned over how many people are still not prepared for this year’s high, fast water.

“I’ve had so many people tell me, if the raft flips over I can take care of my son or I can take care of my child,” said Sacramento Metro Fire Battalion Chief Charles Jenkins, “when you put them in 58 degree water that water takes the air out of you, you can’t breathe, panic sets in and now you’ve got to worry about yourself.”

Even as he spoke, a trio of rafters prepared to put in just a few feet away near the Sunrise walking bridge on the American River.

When Alex Strouse of Sacramento was asked if the three had life jackets, he just laughed, adding he is a good swimmer.

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