VIDEO: Rafting Gone Wild Event Lives Up to Its Namesake

The event posted on Facebook managed to attract nearly 4,000 invitees to the river Sunday.

for the 3,500-plus attendees of the event posted on Facebook, Rafting Gone Wild.

Though it remains unclear as to who created the event, it was discovered that at least two California State University, San Jose students were more than happy to take credit for attracting so many to the American River Sunday - many of which hailed from San Jose and neighboring suburban towns.

What started as a simple Facebook public invite quickly turned into something much, much larger as nearly 12,000 people left an RSVP to attend the event.

It was a wake up call for local law enforcement and rescue teams that had been monitoring the event when a concerned parent contacted one news group in the area, informing them of the inherent potential dangers.

Event coordinators planned to hold the festivities for a weekend they knew would be devoid of a Sacramento County ordinance prohibiting alcohol on the river, officials said.

In total, more than 50 assists were performed by Sacramento Metro Fire rescue teams, including water rescues and treatment for exhaustion, said Sac Metro Assistant Chief, Scott Cockrum.

Sac Metro rescue teams and volunteers were on hand throughout the day, patroling waters and handing out life jackets to all who came to float along the river.

Though the day was not marred by something truly tragic, Sacramento County Sheriff's units made a dozen arrests, including two for driving under the influence, said Sac Sheriff spokesman, Jason Ramos.

Statistics from the day will be compiled and presented to Sacramento County supervisors who will take the evidence into account for next year.

Racerx Gto July 19, 2011 at 06:38 AM
No lifejackets worn by rafters pictured in the video. Amazing they eluded tragedy. This event made news all over the state, including select areas outside of California. I'll bet the farm next year's event will attract undesirables ruining an otherwise normal insane coordinated rafting event. Aside from this events DUI roundup, arrests and fight at Ancil Hoffman park, this can only tilt downward. Not that's I'm being pessimistic, the trends seem to support the summation.
Joshua Staab (Editor) July 19, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Hey Racerx, so you're saying you think it'll only get worse from here? I wonder how the county will react to this. Do you think statistics compiled from the day will result in another ordinance banning alcohol on the river outright versus just the major holiday weekends? There's bound to be an impact on local business and I wonder what how county supervisors will take that into account.
Adam July 19, 2011 at 02:45 PM
I think its great that people went to the river and enjoyed a warm Fair Oaks summer day. Sure they had their life jackets on the raft and not around their necks, but there is nothing wrong with that. When they rented their rafts the rental place makes sure each person has a life jacket. They were not breaking the law. --- I think its great the people from all over the country got to see how people in Fair Oaks enjoy a summer day. We have one of the largest open spaces in the country and I'm glad we get to show it off!! I agree that DUI's are unacceptable but it comes down to this: We can either believe people are generally good and trust them to make the right choice or we can believe they are generally bad and we do not trust them to make the right choice. I think the law enforcement handled this eventy well. They knew it was going to happen. The had patrols on the river as well as the shore. The made arrests for people who violated regulations. The believed that people will make the right choices and they would be there for the people who didn't. They banned drinking on holidays now social networks allow people do create their own holiday. Lets hope the government continues to trust the people to enjoy the river and not create more laws preventing such good times.
A.J. Bennett July 19, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Alcohol was banned on the holidays because the fire and law enforcement agencies do not have the manpower to handle the problems that arise from 5K people with alcohol. When there is alcohol and 1,500 people, it is manageable. 5000 people and no alcohol?=manageable. 5000 people and alcohol?=Excessive overtime costs, resources moved from other areas leaving them vulnerable, increased cost and risk all around. These types of events will only prove the point that alcohol and the river don't mix. If it wasn't a problem, why was there 50 water rescues, and 12 arrests?
Racerx Gto July 19, 2011 at 05:02 PM
It's always the unlawful few that ruin it for everyone else. I suspect that local law enforcement, in an effort to clamp down on rowdy rafting events of this sort, will motion to county lawmakers with the State of California, to add new laws on the books written in such a way that curtails alcohol beverages at any time and a host of other prohibitions. And as always, local business will be impacted to a certain extent.
Joshua Staab (Editor) July 19, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Hey A.J., just to be clear the 50 water rescues were actually 50 to 60 water "assists," which range from anything having to do with a water rescue to pulling a boat out the trees. The dozen arrests, however, were just that and they varied from charges of drunk and disorderly in public to driving under to the influence to assault.
Dr. Zach July 20, 2011 at 07:36 PM
somebody should inform homegirl 10 thousand people is quite diffrent from 5 thousand people. Also, the event creators are listed on the event page.
Carol Gallagher July 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM
@Joshua: assists or rescues, it doesn't matter. Its still time and resources that strapped Metro, park rangers and law enforcement doesnt have or shouldn't be concentrated to one large group of people. As Racerx Gto stated, "this can only tilt downward" from here.


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