A man was seriously injured Monday after falling from a tree and landing some 40 feet onto the shore of the American River in Rancho Cordova.
When rescuers arrived, they found the man badly injured near the Clay Banks, said Michelle Eidam, a captain with Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, which patrols the river in the Rancho Cordova, Sunrise and Watt Avenue areas.
As they considered a so-called “vertical rescue,” either via a rope system or helicopter, Eidam said ground rescuers secured the man to a backboard and flagged down a passing raft. Commandeering the raft, the fire officials then paddled the man about 200 feet down the river.
He was taken to UC Davis Medical Center with unknown injuries, Eidam said.
Eidam said while the water levels were low enough to walk the man across, that would have been unsafe.
“The take-home message for people is the water levels are extremely low,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean there are no dangers, it’s just that the dangers are different.”
Fire officials said river users still must wear life preservers and should remain vigilant while participating in recreational activities.