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New security measures protect against illegal swimming at Whitewater River

There are new security measures are in place at the Whitewater River this Labor Day Weekend.

Security onsite has been hired again this year by the Coachella Valley Water District. The guard said he's turned away dozens of cars since Friday.

Officials said rescues are made each year when people try to swim and cool off in the fast-moving current. It's a popular spot people like to check out, especially on a holiday weekend.

"We went upstream just to go in the river just to get wet on a hot day," said Shannon Card.

"From a distance it looks like it could be a fun time, but up close you kind of realize that it's a little frightening," said Parker Huseby.

This year, a chain link fence has been put up to ensure no one can get down to the water. Security said more than 35 cars were turned away Monday, and nearly 50 on Sunday.

"People should be aware of how dangerous it is and that it's not something to take lightly," Card said.

This comes after a father and son were swept away and killed by the rushing water in September 2018. 41-year-old David Martinez-Garcia died attempting to save 7-year-old David Martinez.

"It just shows how many people don't know how dangerous something can be and that they should be more aware and take precautions," said Shannon Card.

CVWD said last year in the peak of summer, guards turned away nearly 500 cars in one week.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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