Tips for water safety amid high temperatures in Central Valley

Brianna Willis Image
Sunday, July 9, 2023
Tips for water safety amid high temperatures in Central Valley
As we prepare for another round of triple-digit temperatures this summer and people try to escape the heat at local lakes, it can add more work for sheriff patrol deputies.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gearing up to save lives is what the Fresno County Sheriff's Office Boat Unit and Search and Rescue Team prepare for daily.

We went out on Pine Flat Lake with Sgt. Jeff Stricker and his team as they patrolled the lake Saturday.

Not only do they help with emergencies, but they can also help with service issues and removing objects from the water.

"Right now with the water levels being so high, and it's probably only getting higher, there's a lot of debris in the water right now," Stricker said.

We spoke to people who were out on the water about their experience.

Nick Verberg says because of the debris, they changed their typical routine.

"We didn't really pull any tubes or get on the wakeboard or anything like that," he said.

While patrolling, FCSO pulled out a massive log that was floating in the water.

"We've already had one incident on this lake where a boat struck a log and one of the people on board died as a result of it," Stricker said. "Keeping a proper lookout is key so they can spot these things out before the operator of the boat hits them."

The sheriff's office says when you are out on the water, it's not only important you have a bright life vest, but also it's important to be aware of your location on the lake in case you need to call out for an emergency.

It can be difficult at times, just not having communication out here on the water to get first responders to you, to get you the proper care that you need," Stricker said.

As triple-digit temperatures return to the Central Valley soon, Sgt. Stricker has some safety tips.

"Another thing to keep in mind, especially on hot days -- stay hydrated, make sure you eat plenty of food, the right food," he said.

He adds the best thing you can do when trying to beat the heat is protect yourself.

"If you can't swim, don't get in the water," he said.

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