Accident Database

Report ID# 3549

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description

1 dead, 1 rescued in Kern River rafting accident

07-24-11 KERN RIVER, CA A man died and a youth was rescued after both fell from a raft Sun. afternoon (07-24) in the rapidly moving Kern River in SE Tulare Co. The incident occurred about 2:15 p.m. near Gold Ledge Camp Ground, SE of Johnsondale, when campers reported seeing more than one person fall from an inflatable raft secured by a rope to a tree on shore. A 24-y/o man's body was recovered and a 14-y/o boy was rescued and treated for minor injuries, the Tulare Co. Sheriff's Office said. They had no life vests, helmets or wet suits. Their identities were not available. At the time of the accident, the water was moving at a speed that required class 2 or class 3 rafters, which refers to those with novice to intermediate skills. The water temperature in that part of the Kern River is about 50 degrees.

1 dead, 1 rescued in Kern River raft accident Posted Sunday, Jul. 24, 2011 The Fresno Bee A 24-year-old man was found dead and a 14-year-old boy was rescued Sunday afternoon after falling into the Kern River north of Kernville, authorities said. The man was identified early today by the Tulare County Coroner's Office as Oscar Alvarez, 24, of Newbury Park. The two people fell off a raft, which was tied by rope to a tree on shore, around 2:15 p.m. into the 50-degree swirling water of the Kern River near Gold Ledge Campground, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office said. Neither of the rafters had life vests, helmet or wetsuits. The boy suffered minor injuries. Authorities encourage visitors to lakes, streams and rivers to use all safety equipment and to stay away from swift-moving water.

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