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Two Drownings Prompt Warning Of Hazardous Water Conditions 

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Sonora, CA — With fast-flowing rivers and icy waters, authorities warn residents and visitors to exercise extreme caution. The hazardous conditions are expected to persist throughout the summer due to the heavy snowfall experienced earlier this year. Tuolumne County Sheriffs posted on social media “We can’t say it enough, be extremely cautious around waterways in Tuolumne County. The rivers are flowing fast, high and the water is cold.” and have used weekend events to emphasize these points.

On Saturday, June 3rd, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to a distress call near the Clavey River, located off Cottonwood Road. The SAR team embarked on a recovery operation after an Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) detected the lifeless body of a woman approximately 400 yards downstream of the Clavey Bridge. It was confirmed that the deceased woman was the same 22-year-old who had gone missing on Monday, May 29th, after being swept away by the river.

Equipped with training in swift water rescues, SAR members approached the river’s edge using safety lines. With the aid of additional safety measures and downstream safeguards, they successfully entered the treacherous waters and retrieved the woman’s body. Once safely out of the water, a CHP helicopter identified as H40 provided assistance by hoisting the woman to the bridge, where the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) coroner could initiate their investigation.

Meanwhile, while SAR was engaged in the recovery operation, TCSO received another distress call reporting a 22-year-old woman who had entered the river above the waterfall at Rainbow Pools. She had been carried downstream by the strong currents and had not resurfaced. After a search, the woman was discovered submerged in the water beneath the Highway 120 bridge.

SAR responded to the second incident, employing safety lines to access the victim and transport her to the river’s edge. Utilizing a low-angle rope system, the team managed to carry the woman to the roadway, where the TCSO coroner began their investigation.

 

  • Tuolumne County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team
  • Drone searching over Clavey River
  • Signage reporting of waterway dangers
  • Tuolumne County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team
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