Rafter Identified After Tragic Drowning Incident in American River

Photo: Metro Fire of Sacramento

A rafting trip on the American River ended in tragedy on Saturday when a man drowned after being swept away by swift currents near the Clay Banks in Rancho Cordova. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the man’s identity as 34-year-old Zongchar Moua.

According to Battalion Chief Parker Wilbourn of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Moua was part of a large rafting party but was not wearing a life jacket when he disappeared underwater. The strong currents made it difficult for rescuers to locate him immediately.

Authorities responded quickly, deploying two helicopters and divers equipped with sonar to search the area. Despite their efforts on Saturday and Sunday, Moua’s body was not recovered until Sunday morning.

The coroner’s report states that Moua died on Sunday, though the exact cause of death remains undetermined pending further autopsy results.

This incident highlights the critical importance of wearing life jackets while enjoying the waterways, especially with the current river conditions. Due to a sizable Sierra snowpack, river levels are higher and faster than usual for this time of year, increasing the risk of accidents.

Residents seeking relief from the sweltering temperatures are urged to use life jackets, which are available at several river access points and fire departments in the region. These life-saving devices can significantly reduce the risk of drowning in swift and unpredictable currents.

Active NorCal

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