Low water poses risk to swimmers, boaters

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

Area reservoirs and lakes could be more dangerous this summer as water levels continue dropping, according to public health officials.

Tuolumne County Public Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp is warning boaters, swimmers and divers to be mindful of the shallow waters, as submerged rocks and trees will be closer to the surface than they have been in years.

"The reservoir levels are likely to create additional hazards as the summer tourist season comes along," he said. "At popular diving spots, underwater obstructions like rocks and trees will be more dangerous because they will be in a different place."

The county's last confirmed diving incident was at New Melones Reservoir in August 2013, Stolp said. A diver struck his or her head on a rock and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Stolp couldn't reveal the person's identity due to medical privacy laws, but he said these types of accidents happen every year and could increase this summer.

For the complete story, see the March 17, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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