Yuma, Arizona - On Saturday, just after 3:00 pm, a report was received of several people in the Colorado River near the 4thAvenue Bridge who appeared to be in trouble, possibly as many as five. The initial caller also said that one of those in the water may be unconscious.
Two adult males were located who were in need of assistance. One was found unconscious by Yuma Police Department officers; he was treated at the scene and transported by YFD watercraft to the West Wetlands boat landing. He was then transferred to a waiting YFD paramedic unit and transported to YRMC. The second victim was helped from the water but refused treatment.
Due to the initial variety of different reports of locations and the number of people involved, several watercraft were used to search for possible victims. Two Yuma Fire Department jet skis and a Zodiac inflatable boat were launched by YFD swift water rescue team members. A U.S. Border Patrol boat was also called for to provide additional coverage. Yuma Police Department personnel acted as “spotters’ from the shore and the bridge.
Neither of the two victims were wearing Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs). Two partially deflated plastic pool toys were found floating in the area, but it could not be confirmed if these were being used by the victims.
Even though daytime highs may be approaching 100 degrees, water temperatures in the Colorado still reflect much colder temperatures. Prolonged exposure can bring on hypothermia. Check any floating devices you use to be sure they are not toys and can hold up to use on the river, your life may depend on it!