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Kern River death toll sign to be updated today

Posted: 8:11 AM, May 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-25 15:11:54Z

The Kern County Sheriff's Office will update the Kern River death toll sign Friday. Officials say 15 people died last year, bringing the total to 295 people since 1968. 

Search and rescue officials are preparing for this Memorial Day weekend. KCSO Sergeant Zack Bittle says they typically get multiple call-outs during the holiday weekend and warns people of the dangers. 

"People have told me that they are really good swimmers and that they don't need to worry, but when the current is really high and really strong, you're not going to be able to get away from an undertow," Sergeant Bittle says. 

Last year at this time, the river was flowing stronger, however officials say the water this year is still swift and dangerous. Sergeant Bittle says they will have two rescue crews out there as a precaution.