On Monday, 5-11-2020, at 1659 hours, SHASCOM received a call of an overturned raft on the Sacramento River south of the S/R 44 overcrossing. SHASCOM received reports of at least two people, who were in the water and hanging on to the overturned raft.
Both the Redding Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene along with the California Highway Patrol Helicopter and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit.
Doug Alcorn of Redding, CA, was fishing from his drift boat on the river near the incident. Alcorn saw what was happening and moved his drift boat over to the overturned raft. Alcorn was able to rescue three men from the cold fast moving river and got them into his drift boat. None of the men were wearing life jackets, but had them in the raft. Alcorn then helped the three men right their raft.
The three men were cold and wet, but did not need any medical assistance. They were Ron Richter, 68 years old from San Jose, CA, Steve Rosenberry, 62 years old from San Jose, CA, and Andrew Richter, 34 years old from Rocklin, CA.
All three men had been on the raft with a rowing frame attached. They had deployed their anchor while fishing. When the anchor held the raft in position, the strong river current pushed against the raft causing it to sink lower in the water. The raft continued to sink lower in the water before the anchor could be released. This caused water to come over the sides, which eventually caused the raft to capsize and throw all three men into the river.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Doug Alcorn for his quick reaction and response in saving all three men. We would also like to thank the Redding Police and Fire Departments and CHP Air Operations for their assistance.
The Sacramento River is cold and fast moving water. The Sheriff’s Office encourages everyone to wear a life jacket when on or near the water. The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind recreational boaters to follow manufacture guidelines for vessel capacity, which includes number of occupants and equipment weight.
The attached pictures are of the raft that overturned and Doug Alcorn and the three men he rescued from the Sacramento River.