Temperatures are rising in the high country of California, causing a rapid increase in snowmelt. With the monumental snowfall California received this year, people can expect to see high, raging waters in rivers statewide. Those outdoors enthusiasts who are looking forward to some epic river kayaking and rafting, might want to take a step back to reevaluate before jumping into their boats.
Yesterday alone, firefighters lead a vast rescue effort on the American River near Sacramento after more than 20 students got caught in the raging waters. Five fire engines, 3 boats, 4 medics and 2 helicopters were called out for the rescue. Many victims were in a state of shock after falling into the freezing water, but thankfully no one was severely injured.
The water is said to be about 20 percent colder than usual and moving three times as fast as normal for this time of the year. Such freezing water temperatures can lead to hypothermia and muscle tension within minutes of being submerged.
Although many river operations have been put on hold due to the roaring rivers, that has not stopped people from heading out on their own. It is highly advisable to check with your local river operations, or fire department before hitting the waters. Although the intense waters might seem like the thrill of a lifetime, heading out in such dangerous conditions is not only putting you in danger, but those who might have to come to your rescue.
For more on the American River Rescue click here.