According to authorities in California, a brother and sister were killed after being washed down a rushing river that was restricted to the public at the time.
According to a news statement from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), the 4-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl were with their mother and an adult friend when they entered Kings River approximately a mile down from Pine Flat Dam on Sunday afternoon. The gang was going to “a specific rock to climb on,” according to the sheriff’s office, at the time.
Deputies Recover Child's Body from Kings River Shortly before 2:00 pm on Sunday, an 8 year old girl and her 4 year old…Posted by Fresno County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, 21 May 2023
They “fell into” the river just before 2:00 p.m. local time and were “swept downstream,” according to the sheriff’s office. “The current carried the kids away,” officials noted.
The girl was discovered dead in the river less than an hour later. The boy’s corpse was discovered “beneath the water caught against a tree” approximately 2 kilometres distant from where his sister was discovered on Monday morning.
According to the sheriff’s office, neither youngster was wearing a life jacket at the time of the event.
FCSO Search and Rescue Sergeant Matthew Hamilton, the family ran into problems quickly after arriving to the river.
Water temperatures in the “swift” Kings River were “in the low 50s,” according to the FCSO’s news statement on Monday.
Perhaps this is a lesson, and individuals truly consider this warning and actually take this seriously that it’s not a joke, Hamilton told. They can’t have people playing in the water since it’s too dangerous.
Since March 14, the Kings and San Joaquin Rivers have been restricted to recreational users, according to the FCSO. According to Sheriff John Zanoni, “heavy winter storms and melting snow” have resulted in “high water levels and hazardous conditions.”
Body of 4 Year Old Boy Recovered in Kings River Monday morning, CAL FIRE/Fresno County Fire personnel on a boat saw the…Posted by Fresno County Sheriff's Office on Monday, 22 May 2023
According to the sheriff’s office, waterway conditions are likely to “become more dangerous” when snow melts and “dams release even more water into the rivers.”
Those who access rivers that are blocked “for emergency purposes” incur a minimum $225 punishment. It is unknown whether circumstances will improve enough for the waterways to reopen safely.
FCSO Lieutenant Brandon Pursell said that individuals who allow children to swim while watching them risk child endangerment and child maltreatment penalties.
This is a dangerous situation in which one is putting oneself and one’s family in danger, Pursell continued.
First responders noticed individuals trying to “recreate around the water” while looking for the youngsters and had to “chase them back out.”
Pursell added that this water doesn’t care who you are or how good a swimmer you believe you are. If you get caught in this current, it will take you.
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