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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Thursday January 21st, 2010 :: 11:25 a.m. PST


Sheriff's Search & Rescue storm safety advisory.

The County of Ventura continues to get battered by recent storm activity. As these storms move through our area, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Aviation-Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind all residents, parents and school administrators of the dangers that accompany this type of weather.

As the local mountains and hillsides reach their saturation points, the chances for flash floods, mudslides, and large amounts of storm run-off in the local drainage channels, increases dramatically. Recent calls for service can serve as a reminder:

Hikers in the Ventura County back country ventured into the wilderness knowing of the approaching storm systems. These individuals were subsequently overcome by a flash flood and mudslide, and had to be evacuated by a Sheriff’s helicopter and rescue crew.

Two young children entered a drainage channel in the Thousand Oaks area. Both children subsequently ended up in the fast moving and potentially deadly water. Luckily, one child was able to pull both herself and her brother out of danger.

The Ventura County back country is a beautiful place. However, during heavy storms the creeks rise quickly and without warning. Mud and rockslides also occur frequently during these heavy rain events. Please refrain from entering the backcountry until after the storms have long passed, and always notify a friend or loved one of your plans and location when entering the wilderness.

Please ensure that your friends and loved ones do not attempt to cross moving water - either on foot or in vehicles. Normally shallow water crossings become very hazardous during heavy rains as the water flows increase without warning.

Increased water flows in the local drainage channels can be very attractive and luring to kids and young adults. A simple slip and fall into this fast moving water often proves to be fatal, even to the best of swimmers. Please ensure that your children are admonished on the dangers of the fast moving water and told not enter any of these areas.

Increased surf activity at the local beaches is another hazard that draws people to the shoreline to view the large waves and heavy surf. Please do not enter the water or venture out onto the jetties or rocks along the local beaches. Large waves are unpredictable and past incidents have taught us that getting washed into the heavy surf often proves to be fatal, even to the best of swimmers.

Please report any dangerous activity on or around waterways and beaches over the following days. Prevention and early detection is key to avoiding tragedies.

A Sheriff’s Department water safety video can be viewed at:

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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