Family recounts terrifying moments after kayak with 4-year-old overturns on Sacramento River

REDDING, Calif. — Several members of a family had to be rescued after their kayak overturned, dumping several children into the Sacramento River in the area of Wyndam Drive yesterday evening, Saturday, May 1. One of the children involved in the scary ordeal, all of whom were wearing safety flotation vests, was four-years-old.


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Numerous local law enforcement, fire, and rescue agencies were notified of the crisis around 6 p.m. after receiving reports that several children were in the water and floating down river after one of a small group of kayaks and rafts floated away from the others and overturned.

“We had a kayak separate from our raft flotilla,” the grateful father later told KRCR News Channel 7’s Dylan Brown from the scene.

“It tipped over and we had a four-year-old on it,” he continued.

“We were drifting down, it was a big deal for us,” one of the children involved in the incident added; saying the quick-thinking youngsters eventually hooked their overturned kayak to a branch and took refuge on a sandbar, what he referred to as “a little island.”

The children then waited there to be rescued by deputies.

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“Everybody’s all good, we just didn’t want to chance the rapids with the four-year-old,” the father explained after the rescue, where he was seen giving high-fives to and thanking the deputies who responded to the scene with a boat to assist in the rescue.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

One comment

  • The parents are to be commended for making sure they all had life jackets in. That water is so cold from the melting snow. Lives were saved!🙏🏻

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