Caution stressed along rivers and streams

Visitors and residents should be careful on the riverbanks and along streams. Almost every year Carson City responders are involved in a swift water rescue. If you see someone fall into the river don’t attempt to swim after them; call 9-1-1. Typically a current less than 5 mph is enough to lose control and be swept away.

“Streams and rivers will be fast and high this spring and summer as temperatures continue to melt the mountain snowpack” advises Carson City Fire Chief Sean Slamon. “We caution people to be very careful as water is cold and flows are extremely powerful and can easily sweep an adult downstream.”

Recently, the Carson City Fire Department conducted swift water rescue training to ensure crews have the skills and experience for effective rescues from the shoreline and in the waterway. Training procedures include maneuvering treacherous waterways and understanding water behavior.

The Carson River water level is high with a medium-quick water flow producing harsh waves. The ability to swim in the waterway will be diminished due to rapid and unpredictable currents. The characteristics of the river can change dramatically as the water level rises or falls. During heavy storms a set of Class II rapids can quickly become a violent Class IV.

Avoid exploring the waterway alone; either on a flotation device or by boat. Inform others if you’re attempting to go near or in the waterway. If you do choose to float or swim please use proper equipment such as a helmet, proper footwear, inflatable life jacket, drysuit or a wetsuit, and a river appropriate vessel. In addition to having the proper equipment it’s essential to have the knowledge base and training to navigate river obstacles.


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