Accident Database

Report ID# 299

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  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Hypothermia
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

July 2, 1993: Jose Cruz, 18, put in with four companions below Lake Isabella on California's Lower Kern River in a small, cheap raft. The river here is mostly fast-flowing water. After floating for a few miles they were paddling to the shore when they put too much weight on the upstream tube and capsized. Cruz was not wearing a life vest and did not know how to swim. He disappeared under water and did not reappear. This "sudden disappearance syndrome" drowning is often linked to hot weather, cold water, or alcohol use. Regardless of the difficulty of the whitewater, anyone who does not know how to swim should wear a PFD.

Source: NORS Currents

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