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Swift, cold water of American River claims another life

Swift, cold water of American River claims another life
The body of a swimmer was pulled from the North Fork American River Tuesday. (Placer County Sheriff’s Office)

The fast, frigid waters that have overwhelmed California rivers this spring and summer have claimed yet another life, according to officials.

On Tuesday, divers with the Placer County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of a swimmer from the North Fork American River in Auburn.

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"That's the third drowning in the past few weeks; three too many," the Sheriff's Office said.

The 20-year-old man had been swimming with five friends when he suddenly disappeared, KTXL-TV reported.

His death comes days after sheriff's officials retrieved the body of a Reno man who drowned in the South Yuba River near Camptonville, a small town northeast of Marysville.

Jairus Johnson-Neal, 21, was swimming with friends Sunday when they noticed he was floating downstream and then tried to pull him out, authorities said. Divers later found Johnson-Neal's body submerged in 12 feet of water.

In May, Raymond Cabalfin, 19, of Sacramento drowned in the American River during an outing with friends.

The melting snow has led to unpredictable river conditions across the state. Authorities said the rivers with chilly temperatures are too fast and high for even experienced and physically fit swimmers.

At least 17 people have died this year in California rivers.

The Sheriff's Office urged swimmers to stay out of the cold water. Those who do brave the rapid waters should wear a flotation device.

"Summer officially began today, and many more weeks of cold, fast flows are predicted," the Sheriff's Office said.

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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