From a Press Release from the California Department of Parks and Recreation
The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) urges recreational boaters and water enthusiasts to take the necessary precautions this summer, starting with life jacket wear, to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. This summer season begins with some of the highest water levels and coldest water not seen or felt in many years. Swift and cold water can create treacherous conditions for everyone, including experienced swimmers.
Recreational boating fatalities related to swift water conditions are a tragic but yearly occurrence throughout California. These incidents are especially prevalent during California’s high water years. In the midst of the state’s drought or low water period of 2012-2016, DBW’s annual boating accident statistics confirm that 23 fatalities occurred in swift water conditions. During the state’s high water years of 1993, 1998, 2005, 2010 and 2011, that number more than doubled, with a total of 48 California residents losing their lives in swift water conditions.