Search continues for boogie boarder swept away in South Yuba River

Here's how to stay safe on the waterways

Rivers and lakes are running fast and cold. Tips to stay safe on Memorial Day weekend.
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Rivers and lakes are running fast and cold. Tips to stay safe on Memorial Day weekend.

Members of the Nevada County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team continued searching the South Yuba River on Monday for a 23-year-old man who tried to boogie board in the frigid snowmelt but was carried away in the torrent.

“He didn't stand a chance and immediately went over,” the team’s Facebook page said.

The Union, a Nevada County newspaper, identified the missing man as Jesse Babb, of Marysville.

He attempted to boogie board from the Highway 49 bridge over Memorial Day weekend with the river flowing at thousands of cubic feet per second, the search and rescue team reported.

“Cal Fire and (and a California Highway Patrol helicopter) searched for him until dark. CHP had a visual of him about a quarter of a mile downstream just at dark when he went into the rapids,” the Facebook page said.

“Today we searched the area from the point last seen downstream and the area near Jones Bar until it was no longer safe along the raging river,” the team’s post said. “CHP also flew the river again from the bridge to Bridgeport with no success in locating him.”

The team joined a chorus of local authorities who have urged swimmers to stay out of the rivers after a winter of heavy rain and snow. After years of drought, the rivers are swollen with snowmelt, creating extremely hazardous conditions.

“Once you get caught in the strong currents your chance of survival is almost nil,” the sheriff’s search and rescue team said. “Please stay out of the water.”

Hudson Sangree: 916-321-1191, @hudson_sangree

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