Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On March 31, 2021, at about 4:45 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Trinity River Division was contacted regarding multiple swimmers in distress at the Big Rock river access in Willow Creek.

The deputy arrived on scene and observed three people stuck on a rock in the river. The deputy retrieved his department-issued water rescue gear, and with the help of additional community members on scene, the deputy deployed the rescue equipment and brought all three of the subjects safely to shore.

The deputy later learned the subjects were from the Arcata area and had decided to go for a swim in the river due to the nice weather.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community members who assisted our deputy in bringing the subjects to safety.

While the weather is getting warmer throughout Humboldt County, the Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that it is still too early to swim in some of our local rivers, including the Trinity River, due to high water levels and swift currents. If you do decide to swim in the local rivers this summer, the Sheriff’s Office offers some safety tips: 

  • Be sure to check river levels and flow information with the National Weather Service, in addition to water release information for the Trinity River. 
  • Never swim alone. 
  • Avoid swimming into a fast-moving current. If the current seems too strong, get out of the water. 
  • Don’t consume alcohol while swimming. 
  • Inflatable water toys should not be used in place of a life jacket. Young children should wear a life jacket when swimming in the river. Watch children at all times. 
  • If you are not a strong swimmer, do not swim in the river. Instead, enjoy from the shore.