Thousands Splash On Kings River

July 3, 2009 6:48:34 PM PDT
Thousands of water enthusiasts are headed to the Kings river this weekend. Deputies fear a number of factors along the river could claim someone's life. Action News reporter John-Thomas Kobos shows us the stepped up water patrols and the common sense officials are asking of floaters.Celebrating the 4th of July along the Kings river is all about buddies, rafting, and for many people, it also includes lots of alcohol, floating in various, creative containers! With all of these elements mixed together Fresno county deputies worry about floater's safety on the river.

"It's very easy to get dehydrated out here. Drink lots of water. This weekend it's going to get over 100* and it's very easy to get overheated," said Deptuy Scott Weishaar.

Drowning is also a big concern for Weishaar. On Monday a 60-year old woman in a kayak drowned just north of this location where everyone enters the river.

Weishaar: "It just takes a second of not paying attention.:

"You hear about it all the time people getting killed or injured out here," said Jay Silver.

Silver and his group hit the Kings every year and prepare best they can.

Silver: "Got some sun tan lotion. Bunch of waters. Beer at the bottoms."

What this group cannot account for is how quickly the current can sweep them off their feet.

"Right here it's usually pretty strong," said Earnest Barreto.

But even before these rafters hit the water there is one dangerous traffic challenge near this entrance.

'No Stopping Any Time' signs are posted all up and down Goodfellow. Every year deputies claim there is a real safety concern with the number of people who try crossing back and forth on this street.

Weishaar: "Traffic's flying by and you start running into issues with people getting hit by cars."

Deputies said everyone should drink plenty of water and use common sense when floating on the river. It can mean safe fun in the sun.

Deputies expect twice the traffic out here Saturday. Once again, deputies recommend everyone wear safety vests and drink plenty of water.

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