MARIN COUNTY --Youths in wetsuits using boogie boards to shoot down swollen Miller Creek created a stir in Marinwood on Monday, triggering urgent safety warnings from authorities.

San Rafael fire Battalion Chief Jeff Buscher said authorities searched for the juveniles for an hour, but could find no one after a resident called to say her child came home to report youths were in the creek and calling for help.

"We got a report that from one to three children were in the creek screaming for help," said Marinwood fire Capt. John Bagala, adding that another report was logged about youths in wetsuits skimming the rapids on boogie boards.

Firefighters from Marinwood and San Rafael were joined by sheriff's deputies and officers from the California Highway Patrol in a fruitless, hourlong search of Miller Creek.

Bagala said authorities armed with thermal imaging cameras searched creek access points for more than a mile from Mount Shasta Drive to Canyon Oak Road, but found nothing.

The creek is running fast and deep following torrential rains, and it propels logs and other dangerous debris, he noted. "It's very dangerous," he said. "Someone could get pinned or pulled under. ... I would not want to get into that creek."

The youths apparently departed before authorities arrived at about 5:15 p.m.

"Tell your kids to stay out of the creek," Buscher advised.



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