Locals try to seek safe spots on the American River

On Sunday, many people were cooling off at Lake Natoma - a calmer portion of the river near Folsom. (July 2, 2017)

As Fourth of July approaches, people are heading to the area's waterways to stay cool, but some are avoiding the most dangerous spots on the American River. 

On Sunday, many people were cooling off at Lake Natoma – a calmer portion of the river near Folsom.

"As you can see here, they have the swimming holes for the children and that's where it's all calm," said Shane Nischke. "And you can see where everybody else is kayaking, it's great out there -- there's nothing roaring through here."

The Nischke family came all the way from Auburn to enjoy this spot, even though there are plenty of rivers where they’re from.

“It’s just dangerous,” he said, referring to those rivers. “For the last three years, this is the place I come with my children because it's the safest.”

Nischke is familiar with the dangers of the American River because he lost a close friend in a drowning incident on the river.

“He was out on a trail and then he fell in right in the rapids and the undertow took him and wrapped him up around a log,” he said. “He couldn’t get out, and therefore, his life was ended that day."

Ever since that happened, Nischke has been determined to keep the same thing from happening to his kids.

“It’s changed my views and how I feel about going to that kind of water,” he said. “Being a father myself, I like to spend all the time and quality time I can with my children and have a good time and be safe. I won't go back to the rivers up there."

Margaret Abrego and her friends were just down the beach from where the Nischkes were hanging out. Abrego said she’s been coming to the spot for years for the same reason.

“It's harder when you're going to a lake that's extremely deep, especially when you have little ones,” she said. “You're always afraid they're going to fall over or something's going to happen to them, but when you’re here, you don't have to worry about that at all."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment