It is so easy to walk right into the Kern River. Thirteen people have already died this season and five of those were killed in Hart Park. Many have been pushing for more signs to be posted around the river, especially in Hart Park, since the closest is only at the mouth of the canyon.
Wendy Ruiz spoke exclusively to 23ABC's Jada Montemarano about these new signs and her brother's passing.
Michael Ramirez, a rapper from Orange County, was one of the lives lost in the Kern River this year. Wendy said how he was full of life and always adventurous. This need for adventure brought him to the Kern River for his 27th birthday. He decided to jump in, something that he has done many times before, but this year was different.
"The water was so calm and deceiving. He didn't think twice before jumping in and within seconds he was gone," said Wendy.
Since Michael was from Orange County he was unaware of how dangerous the river was this year. A 9-day search followed his disappearance with about 80 people looking for him.
"It was a living nightmare for those nine days before he was found," said Wendy.
A boy fishing along the river ended up finding Michael's body.
"We want to just keep another family from having to deal with this devastation our family has had to deal with," said Wendy.
Wendy hopes this happens if new signs are added to the Kern River warning people of the dangers. She said that you can't really see any signs saying don't get in the water or that the water levels are at an all time high right now. Wendy feels that there needs to be more ways to warn people from out of town who may not know how dangerous the river could be.