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Overdue rafters create concern

Ripon water rescue team alerted

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Overdue rafters create concern

Two men worried about three adult family members are seen talking with the Ripon Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team just before they put into the water about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED April 29, 2013 1:19 a.m.


The Bulletin

The Ripon Fire Department Water Rescue Team responded to family members who had been waiting for relatives at Stouffer Park – two women and a man – who had been rafting down the Stanislaus River Friday afternoon.

The raft was overdue and the family was concerned for their welfare.

The husband of one of the women said they had put in the water at the McHenry Avenue Recreation Area on River Road at about 2 p.m. They had expected to see them get out of the high water, fast moving river less than four hours later.  The man said he had talked with strangers floating past them in a canoe who said they had left about the same time in the some six mile trek, causing them to worry even more.

They said they called the fire department when they did for fear of darkness that would inhibit any search effort.

The trio had left their cell phones in the car when they put into the river, he added, keeping them from making contact.

The rescue team had been in the water some 20 minutes when they were told by their dispatcher that the rafters had gotten out of the river at Carrolton Road, upstream from Stouffer Park where other family members were anxiously waiting to see them pull their raft up the bank to the picnic area.

The four-member team entered the river by the bike bridge at the end of Parallel Avenue and adjacent to the northbound lanes of Highway 99.

To contact Glenn Kahl, e-mail

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