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SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) – A Sacramento, California family was stranded in the middle of the north fork of the American River near Auburn for more than four hours on Saturday.
A nine-member Cal Fire rescue crew finally reached the Kolesnikov family and removed them from a rock about 7:45 p.m.
Two other bystanders were also rescued, after they became stuck on rocks while trying to aid the family.
Officials said Anna Kolesnikov, two of her daughters and a nephew became stranded about 3:30 p.m. when the water level suddenly rose several feet because of upstream releases from a power station.
Andre Grigoryn said he heard the mother crying for help but was unable to move them to shore because of the strong current.
Officials said the extreme heat outside, plus the frigid mountain water temperatures, caused members of the rescue team to become nearly exhausted.
“I measured a temperature of 108 on the canyon rim today,” said Battalion Chief Mike Webb. “Fatigue and exhaustion played a big role.”
For a while, officials planned for a CHP helicopter to pluck the family off the rock.
But finally the team reached the family with life jackets and moved them one by one along a rope to shore.