Ride along with Sacramento Metro Fire water rescue team

ABC10's Giacomo Luca rode along with the Sacramento Metro Fire Department as they patrolled the waterways. (June 17, 2017)

Rescue crews are patrolling waters in the Sacramento region this warm weekend.

ABC10 News joined a crew from the Sacramento Metro Fire Department as they patrolled the American River.

A team of three from station #62 included Captain Shawn Burke, Engineer Vince Purcell, and Firefighter Rich Turner helped rescue several stranded people during the several hour ride along.

One of the biggest issues crews deal that can lead to drowning is people not wearing life vests and drinking alcohol while on the river.

Burke also said this year high current, cooler waters, and debris is are other issues anyone that hits the water should look our for.

“There’s a lot of downed trees from the heavy flows this Winter,” said Burke. “And these rafts pop really easy and tree branches can pop them.”

The crew were waived down by a family of four stranded on an Island along the American River. The family was kayaking when they hit rapids and were thrown overboard.

“We believe in Jesus so we prayed, that’s the first thing we did was we got out of the boat and said thank you to Jesus that we were safe,” said Father Hezekias Carnazzo.

The firefighters helped bring the family safely to mainland and also helped track down and return the families kayak, a birthday gift for Carnazzo’s daughter Marianna, 11.

“I’m really thankful because I wasn’t quite sure, cause my dad had lost his phone, so, we had no like idea how we were going to get back to the shore,” the younger Carnazzo said.

Water rescue crews are on high alert this weekend as the warm temperatures are expected to bring lots of people to the region’s water this weekend. 

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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