July 8, 2016
Chris Mengel, (530) 242-3413
On July 6, 2016, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area received a report of two overturned kayakers near the Carr Powerhouse on Whiskeytown Lake. Park rangers and firefighters responded along with the California Highway Patrol helicopter. One of the kayakers was assisted by two other unassociated kayakers was able to get back into his kayak and paddle to shore. Park staff rescued the other kayaker. The kayakers were within the boat exclusion buoy-line at the time they overturned and neither of them was wearing a lifejacket. The combination of not having a lifejacket in very cold water with strong currents could have easily resulted in the loss of life.
We would like to remind all visitors to stay out of the water within the boat exclusion buoy-line around the Carr Powerhouse. This area is closed to all activities, including boating, kayaking, and swimming. The water level and current strength fluctuates throughout the day due to power demands. The water coming from the powerhouse is about 50 degrees F and immersion may lead to rapid onset of hypothermia and lack of ability to self-rescue.
We always encourage all boaters to wear their U.S. Coast Guard Approved lifejackets while on Whiskeytown Lake. All powered and unpowered vessels (including kayaks and stand-up paddleboards) must have a lifejacket on-board and easily accessible for each person. Children under the age of 12 must wear their lifejacket at all times while participating in these activities.
For additional information about the activities at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, please visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/whis.