Two rafters are plucked from pilings of American River Bridge after spill into water

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews rescued two rafters from pilings of an American River pedestrian bridge after they fell into the swift-moving water.

Five people were aboard when the raft hit the PCA pedestrian bridge at Sacramento Bar near Sunrise Boulevard. Three rafters made it to shore but two grabbed onto the pilings of the old gravel company bridge.

Firefighters responded at about 11:45 a.m., according to fire Capt. Chris Vestal. The river is running fairly high and swift. The water, fed by Sierra snowmelt, is cold.

Metro Fire firefighters in a rescue boat reached the two and brought them safely to shore. Vestal said the raft was too small for the high volume of water flowing down the river.

“We have water flows that are historically high for this time of the season,” Vestal said. He added that none of the rafters were wearing life preservers.

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