On Sunday, July 16, 2017, at 8:03 p.m., the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an overturned canoe in the Sacramento River south of the Anderson River Park. Two subjects were in the canoe when it overturned. They were William McCall, 63 years of age from Cottonwood and William Harris, 48 years of age from Cottonwood.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit, Cal Fire, Anderson Fire and the California Highway Patrol helicopter were dispatched to the area. While responding, McCall was given a ride to Rooster’s Landing, by a resident living in the area where McCall exited the river. Harris’s location was still unknown at the time.
McCall and Harris got on the river at the Anderson River Park sometime after 4:00 p.m. in McCall’s red Coleman canoe. Harris sat in the back of the canoe and McCall sat in the front. McCall said he was wearing a life jacket and Harris was sitting on his. They did not make it very far down river, when McCall said they both leaned to the left side of the canoe at the same time and the canoe overturned. McCall made it to the west side of the river with the canoe after floating for some time. McCall never saw Harris get out of the water, but last saw him near the shore.
The Highway Patrol helicopter and Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit searched the river well past sunset. At 9:43 p.m., the Boating Safety Unit located Harris on the east side of the river north of Deschutes Road. Harris was uninjured and glad to be rescued. Harris said the canoe overturned when McCall turned around in his seat. Harris said he had a life jacket around his neck, and admitted to not properly wearing a life jacket, when he made it to shore. Harris waited on shore until he was located. He was later reunited with his friends at home.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Anderson Fire, Cal Fire and the California Highway Patrol helicopter for their assistance in this incident.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens recreating on water and especially cold fast-moving water, to wear a life jacket. The life jacket has to be serviceable, proper size, fit and used for the proper recreational water activity.