top of page

Four teens rescued; boat capsizes in Fresno River

Courtesy of Madera County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities rescue a teenager stranded on an island in the Fresno River after a boat capsized Thursday night that carried him and three other boys. None were wearing life jackets or safety equipment.


Madera County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team rescued four teenage boys from the Fresno River after their boat capsized Thursday night, leaving one stuck on an island, sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Davis said.

Around 6:20 p.m., the SAR team arrived at the river behind Rivergold Elementary School in Yosemite Lakes Park, Davis said. Cal Fire already had arrived to assess the situation.

Davis said the boys – ranging in age from 17 to 18 – were floating down the river in a boat when it struck an object in the water and capsized, throwing them into the freezing water. Two were able to get safely to land before emergency calls were made.

By the time the team arrived, Davis said, only one boy remained stuck on the island, as the other three were safe on the shore.

Through combined efforts from the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Fire, California Highway Patrol, and Sierra Ambulance, crews were able to get the young man a life jacket, then pull him to safety with ropes fewer than 20 minutes later, Davis said.

“I appreciate everyone’s response to this,” Davis said of all the emergency crews who helped in the rescue or keeping traffic clear near the area. “We all worked really well together. It all went very well out there.”

After debriefing at Rivergold Elementary, emergency workers were seen shaking hands and thanking each other for their help in a successful rescue.

All four boys were evaluated by emergency medical service staff, and Davis said they likely suffered only minor injuries, if any.

No drugs or alcohol were suspected as a factor in the incident, Davis said.

Dive teams initially were called out on the rescue but canceled once the boys were safe.


For more mountain news, visit the Sierra Star.

bottom of page