On March 29, 2019, at 11:30 A.M, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 transfer call from the California Highway Patrol. The caller, a 10-year-old child explained to the dispatcher that her 1-year-old brother had fallen out of a boat while fishing on the San Joaquin River with her father and younger sibling. The child indicated her father dove into the river after the child and related the child was wearing a life vest, however, her father was not.
The dispatcher quickly worked to pinpoint the exact location of the child using her training along with the specialized tools available to her. While she continued speaking with the child, she and other dispatchers began requesting resources from throughout the region to bring assistance to them.
The Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Detail was immediately dispatched to the area along with a CHP helicopter, Contra Costa County Sheriff Marine assets, United States Coast Guard, Rio Vista Fire Department, and the River Delta Fire Department.
A U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat reached the area first and located the victim’s boat as it was drifting in the waterway. After rescuing the children in the boat, the Coast Guard boat then located the1-year-old child floating in the river. First responders immediately began performing life-saving measures on the child including CPR as the child did not initially have a pulse. The child was taken to a nearby dock where he was transferred to a waiting CHP helicopter. The 1-year-old child was transported via helicopter to a Sacramento area hospital where he had a pulse on arrival and remains in serious condition.
Both children rescued from the boat are in good health and with family. The father of the children has been identified as a 41-year-old male of Asian descent and he is still outstanding. Search crews from the Sheriff’s Office are still combing the area and will continue searching depending on conditions. The river in this area is approximately fifty degrees and due to heavy rainfall and runoff in our region, the river is flowing very fast.
The Sacramento Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all of the agencies who assisted in this rescue including the Drowning Accident Rescue Team (DART) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Sergeant Shaun Hampton