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Message #1779 of 4034  *NEW*
Another drowning in Sequoia NP
8/5/05, 8:48am (Last Edited: 8/5/05, 8:58am)
Can't reporters ever get anything right? They completely screwed up my job title and where I work, same with Alex Picavet :p

Anyway, be careful out there folks, as the article says we don't ever recommend going swimming in the rivers around here!

River drowning prompts warning

By Sarah Villicana, The Porterville Recorder

The rushing waters of the Kaweah River claimed this year's third victim on Monday, according to a Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks news release.

At approximately 5:31 p.m., park rangers responded to a report of two people struggling to get out of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, near Ash Mountain headquarters.

The report credits a "Good Samaritan" for the rescue of one victim; a young female who was pulled onto the shore.

Two specially trained park rangers arrived on scene and entered the cold waters to search for the remaining victim, a 40-year-old man, said reports.

Officials report the victim was pulled out of the water, approximately 30 feet below the area of submersion, on the bottom of the Kaweah River. The victim, whose name was being withheld pending family notification, had no pulse, was not breathing and was unresponsive.

According to the National Parks Service, the victim had been under water for about 15 minutes before he was located by rangers.

Several life-saving measures were reportedly taken to resuscitate the man, including CPR and the administration of an automated external defibrillator. The victim was treated by a paramedic and the Tulare County ambulance crew, who conferred with doctors at Kaweah Delta District Hospital before pronouncing him dead at the scene.

Carol Zeigler of the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Ranger Station in Springville advises the public to avoid entering the rushing waters of both Kaweah and Tule rivers and to stay off the slippery rocks bordering waterways.

"We don't recommend it at all," said Zeigler, an information supervisor assistant.

There have been three separate drownings reported in the Middle Fork so far in 2005, according to Alex Picavet, an information officer with the National Parks Service.

"It's never recommended that people swim or wade in the water," Picavet said. "But if you do get in, don't dive off the rocks and don't try jumping from rock to rock. We've had a lot of close calls due to that."

Picavet said it only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock down a typical adult. She also advises parents to keep a close eye on children playing near the river edge.

Even though it is late in the summer months, rivers are still dangerous due spring snow melt, resulting in cold, quick-moving water.

On the afternoon of July 11, Noah Dominguez, 24, of Wilmington, drowned in Middle Fork, just above the footbridge near Buckeye campground.

In that incident, Dominguez became trapped by rocks and a technical swift water rescue team was required to extricate him.

From witness accounts, rangers determined Dominguez was swimming in the river with friends when he was caught in a whirlpool and was swept down river by a swift current, trapping him under water.

The first Kaweah River drowning of the year was on May 27. Previous reports said the victim was a young man and had been celebrating his 21st birthday with friends when he went missing in the water. His body was discovered a day later, five miles downstream from where he was last seen.

Zeigler said there has yet to be a drowning in Tule River this year, but several near-drownings have been reported.


The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir ~ www.tarol.com

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