Alarming number of calls for Columbia Basin Rescue as temperatur - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Alarming number of calls for Columbia Basin Rescue as temperatures warm up

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RICHLAND, WA- Columbia Basin Dive Rescue has responded to 11 service calls this season when they would normally only see about one or two for this time of year. 

It is only April and Columbia Basin Dive Rescue responded to their 11th service call of the season, but outdoor activities in the area are only just getting started. 

"The high number of calls that we've had already, is really alarming for us as an organization," said Troy McGregor with Columbia Basin Dive Rescue.

McGregor said usually for this time in April they would have only responded to one or two calls.

"That's too much," said McGregor.

He said most of it comes from people not being prepared.  The Yakima River is very dangerous right now.  

"It's so fast right now and there's so much debris that you just don't see," said McGregor.

That debris can cause some problems. 

"We went out there the other day and just threw a rod in just to see what we could snag up.  I pulled a fence up and a tire.  that was just a random spot.  I didn't go anywhere special," said McGregor.

Calls this year included one from Palouse Falls for an overturned boat, people getting stuck in the mud walking across the delta, and mud trapping people driving through shallow ponds.

"Not realizing that if they go out there to get a decoy or a fishing lure that's stuck or just to wade out for a little bit, the mud is almost like quick sand," said McGregor.

Last year's milfoil is still there too.

"Next thing you know, they're up to their chest and up to their neck in mud and begging for help.  We don't want to see anybody get hurt or drown that way," said McGregor.

That is why the team wants people to plan ahead and be aware of their surroundings.  So far, they have averaged a call a week.  

"Unfortunately we are on track for about 50 calls if we keep going at this rate," said McGregor.

With a dozen drownings last year, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue wants to remind everyone to wear life jackets.  People can also get their boats inspected by their local sheriff's departments.