SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. May 1, 2017 - On Sunday afternoon, a report was received by a park ranger that a person had fallen into the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River behind the headquarters of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The missing person is Tomas Martinez, 18, from Woodlake, California who was recreating with family and friends.
This is the second incident in as many weeks on the same river. With temperatures heating up as summer approaches, the record setting Sierra Nevada snow pack is starting to melt and flow, making these rivers rough, cold, and dangerous. Park rangers strongly request people not go in or near the edge of rivers as the rocks next to them are slick and steep.
“Many rivers in California are going to get very high and very dangerous. The best thing you can do is not go near these rivers. Don’t swim. Don’t go in,” said Ned Kelleher, chief ranger, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The National Park Service is being assisted in this incident by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, YODOGS, and Exeter Ambulance.