Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dangerous currents for kayakers

Lest you think a recent post exaggerated the dangers of Sierra runoff to kayakers and other river enthusiasts, take note – there have been two dramatic rescues on Northern California rivers in just the past couple of days.

On Wednesday, a California Highway Patrol helicopter ducked under high power lines to pull a hiker off a rock amid the raging waters of the Feather River in Plumas County. See the KCRA-TV video. (The young victim initially was identified as a kayaker or rafter. KCRA later reported he fell into the river from a cliff.) Another chopper rescue occurred Monday in Nevada County, according to KCRA, when a kayak carrying three paddlers overturned on a stretch of the South Yuba River. Two of them made it to shore but the third was caught on a rock and had to be airlifted out. The group's dog drowned.

Unless you’re fully qualified for the wild stuff, stick with smooth water venues – our Sierra lakes offer some beautiful scenery right now. (NorCal Yak's next "top ten" paddle will feature Lake Tahoe.) And remember that regardless of your kayaking experience, there’s no substitute for common sense.
California river kayaking, whitewater kayaking, lake kayaking