Two Weekend Rescues on American River
Norm Schoenhoff, owner of Auburn’s Whitewater Excitement, was taking a group of people down the company’s new China Bar Run Friday when the group saw a fire truck, ranger truck and an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office vehicle about ¾ of a mile from the confluence.
The incident was called in to the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office at 5:27 p.m., according to Sgt. Phil Chovanec.
“We responded to a call of seven people stranded out in the middle of the river at the confluence,” he said. “Apparently the water was rising, as it often does in the late afternoon.”
A Search and Rescue ground unit and helicopter were dispatched, but by the time they arrived Schoenhoff had assisted by sending someone in a raft to pick the family up and bring them to the other side, he said, where they arrived safely.
“They walked across the river and they were picnicking on a nice sandy beach, and all of a sudden the river came up and they were stranded over there,” Schoenhoff said.
The group – a couple with young children – had walked across the river earlier in the day, before water released from the Oxbow Powerhouse, about 25 miles upstream, reached the area, Schoenhoff said.
“By then, people have already hiked across and they don’t know that the water’s going to rise every day,” he said. “The river rises significantly, and they get stranded out there. It’s nothing new.”
The water can rise up to ...