Sacramento father missing after being swept away by river

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NEVADA COUNTY (CNN) — It was supposed to be a fun day trip but it turned into a gut wrenching day they will never forget.

A Sacramento mother was forced to watch as her daughter and the father of her child struggled against the rapids in the south Yuba River.

She says they fell in about the same time as they walked across the river, but her daughter was able to hold onto a rock.

“I think you have to be really respectful of the river,” said William Gersten. “It’s a power river and don’t take it for granted.”

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office says people are ignoring warnings about how dangerous the river is even as they searched for the man’s body.

“Yeah, we come out every year, kind of do a family tradition,” said Shane Starbuck, who’s visiting the area with his kids. 

He says the fast moving water is a big concern, not wanting the same thing to happen to his family.

“Take it by chance if we go up there, and it’s too quick and we think there might be under tows we obviously avoid it and stay out of it,” he said. 

The mother of the girl who survived being swept away says she hopes others take the time to wear life vests.

The search is still underway for the missing father. 

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