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California high water levels raises rafting safety concerns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Up near Lotus, a group of rafters passes by on placid waters.

"We've had a tremendous season. It's the highest I've ever seen it. First time at these flow levels," said Robert Rodgers, a rafter.

But that calm will soon give way to class II and III rapids.

"This is the year. If you've never been, you wanna come out this year. It's like having a powder day every day all summer, which can bring danger," said Andrew Ahlberg, a rafting guide.

"It's more of an issue with people coming out and doing things on their own without the experience and training to do it. But, also safety at the hands of experienced guides and rafting companies. We run the river multiple times and see it multiple times with guides and do training trips. We are also swift water rescue trained," said Chad Richards, another rafter.

Don't float into a dangerous area

Ahlberg is one of the guides for WET River Trips and says added safety is key.

"There are a lot of companies that are hiring safety kayakers as well to go along with the trips so that we have the extra precaution to pick everybody up and make sure they don't float downstream into a dangerous area," Ahlberg spoke.

While even experienced recreational rafters, like Rodgers, say going as a group is essential as river levels remain high.

"If you've never done it before, make sure you go on a guided trip. If you wanna get out on your own start with a swiftwater rescue class, there's a few places that offer it here and always be boating with buddies," Rodgers spoke.

And the summer season is just getting underway.

"This is if not once a lifetime it's once every ten years that something like this happens," Richards explains.

Article Topic Follows: California News

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