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Teenager Dies at Rimrock Lake

The Yakima coroner has identified 14-year-old Cristian Sanchez and 29-year-old Josefina Guerrero as the two who drowned at Rimrock Lake Saturday morning. Authorities say Sanchez was swimming in the lake to get a flotation device when Guerrero, who didn’t know the boy, swam to help him. The boy apparently panicked and pulled Guerrero under and both drowned.

Now the issue of water safety is on everyone’s mind. The Yakima River sees hundreds of people rafting and boating every summer and officials say safety is the number one concern.

There are swift currents under the water’s surface that can catch people off guard … and the water itself is also very cold and can cause shock if you are not expecting the difference in temperatures.

One rafter said safety is all about the basics and to always be prepared.

“Obviously everyone should have a personal flotation device, a whistle tied to their life jackets,” said rafter, Todd Nicholas.

Officials say you need to always wear a life jacket, register your boat, and do not drink while on the water.

The Yakima Sheriff’s Department patrols 288 miles of shoreline and is always looking for people who may need help.

Last week the Yakima Fire Department went through a training refresher course to be able to help people stuck in boats and in rivers.

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