Amador County authorities rescue paddle boarder who fell into river without life jacket

Authorities on Thursday afternoon rescued a woman who clung to tree branches in the middle of the Mokelumne River in Amador County after she fell off her paddle board without a life jacket.

The swift water rescue occurred on the North Fork of the Mokelumne River, just off of Electra Road near Vaught’s Beach. The Amador County Sheriff’s Office, the Amador Fire Protection District and the Jackson Fire Department responded.

About 2 p.m., authorities received a report of a 50-year-old woman who fell off her paddle board, said Amador County Sheriff Gary Redman. He said the woman was not wearing a life jacket, which is “unbelievable” for anyone to be without a life jacket right now in the fast-moving, cold waterways of Northern California.

The woman clung onto the tree branches in the river for about 45 minutes before rescuers could safely reach her, Redman said.

Emergency personnel safely removed the stranded woman from the water, and she was not injured, according to a news release from the Amador Fire Protection District. The Jackson Fire Department assisted with shoreline safety.

For weeks, public safety officials in the Sacramento region and the Sierra Nevada foothills have warned residents that Northern California rivers are unsafe for recreation. Waterways are running cold and extremely fast for this time of year due to a record-setting Sierra snowpack.

On Monday afternoon, firefighters rescued a rafter in the Cosumnes River in Sacramento County. The male rafter, who was not wearing a life jacket and was rafting with friends, was swept downstream and became separated from his tire raft near Rancho Murieta, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

In Placer County, coroner’s officials have confirmed that a body found a week ago at Folsom Lake is that of a 22-year-old Sacramento County man who was swept into the American River more than two weeks earlier.

Another swimmer, a Bay Area man, remains missing after he disappeared May 14 in Placer County. Authorities said he jumped into the North Fork of the American River by Yankee Jims Bridge near Foresthill.