Black Butte Lake Rescue

Orland, CA – The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Communications Center received a 9-1-1 emergency call for assistance for a person floating in Black Butte Lake on Sunday evening, June 5, 2022. The person in need of rescue was recreating with a group of people near Burris Creek area (Tehama County). The group’s boat suffered an engine malfunction and the person floating in the water was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) but was unable to swim back to the disabled boat. At the time of the call, the exact whereabouts of the stranded swimmer was not known.

The Black Butte Lake spans across Glenn and Tehama counties. Boating Patrol Units from Glenn County Sheriff’s Office and Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, Tehama County Fire, Orland Fire, Westside Ambulance, and California Highway Patrol Aviation Unit responded to assist with the search and rescue. Following a thorough search of the area by air and boat, deputies learned that the stranded person was able to swim ashore and was found safe. The person did not require medical attention.

This search resulted in the best possible outcome, the person was found safe and did not require rescue assistance. A personal floatation device (PFD) is required for boaters under California Law and the use of the PFD in this occurrence contributed to this positive outcome with the swimmer found safe. With the start of the summer season and start of swimming and boating season, it is critical that those recreating local waterways do so in a safe manner.

Water Safety Tips:

  • Check river, lake, and stream conditions before heading out and always let someone know where you are going and when you will return.
  • If you are boating, any drivers under the age of 45 years are required to complete the California Boater Safety course and carry a California Boater Card. For more information:
  • Wear a properly fitting personal flotation device (PFD - life jacket) for all river, lake, and boating activities. Don’t assume you have the swimming skills to keep you afloat — even the strongest swimmers may not be a match for the water conditions.
  • Choose swimming areas carefully. Often hazards are not visible in what may seem like a good place to swim or wade.
  • If an area is designated with a “No Swimming” sign, choose another location. The signs are posted for your safety.
  • Warm air doesn’t always mean warm water. Plunging into cold water of 50-60 degrees can be dangerous. Cold water drains body heat up to 4 times faster than cold air. When your body hits cold water, “cold shock” can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. Water safety for children is especially important as they can quickly enter the water when your attention is diverted.

For more information, contact the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office at 934-6441, visit our website: or access us on Facebook at