FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Officials expect the waterways to be busier than usual for the 4th of July weekend during the coronavirus pandemic.
The rising temperatures and local festivities canceled mean a lot more traffic at Kings River.
“People are coming out to the outdoors where they can keep their distance from other people,” said Fresno Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Scott Weishaar.
Weishaar said the Sheriff’s patrol teams have been on several rescues this week including one on Thursday, where six rafters were stuck in rushing water and were pushed them a riverbank.
David Loftin and his family tried to beat the crowd by coming on to the river on Friday. He said often when it gets busy some people don’t follow the rules.
“You have to be careful on this river,” said Loftin. “This river is narrow. It is a two-way traffic type of river. So it can get pretty dangerous.”
There has been one drowning and two boating accidents in 2020 so far. This weekend, the sheriff’s office will have numerous patrols out looking for people under the influence.
“Most boating accidents involve alcohol or drugs,” said Weisharr.
The sheriff’s office released this set of tips if you are out on the water this holiday:
- Carry a life jacket. If you are under 13 the law states you must have one on you at all times. Make sure it fits.
- Stay out of the water if you are an inexperienced swimmer
- Watch children at all times
- Do not drink alcohol while swimming or operating any machinery
- Be aware of hot temperatures. It will cause fatigue quicker
- Respect the water. The water is often cold and the current is stronger than it looks.