Officials push message about dangers of Kern River

Hope outlying counties heed the warning
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 21:49:54-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — Kern County Search and Rescue is amping up their community outreach about the dangers of the Kern River.

On Thursday, officials held a press conference inviting media outlets and law enforcement officials from surrounding counties hoping to spread their message beyond Kern County.

"Even if you don't anticipate going in the river, if you are visiting the river and going near it, you are still in danger," said KCSO Search and Rescue Sergeant Steve Williams.

It has been a deadly month on the Kern River with high flow due to fast snow melt and runoff.

Crews are still searching for the body of an 11-year-old girl from Bakersfield who got swept away this past weekend.

"She was simply walking along the banks of the river with her friends and family, and in this case she slipped in and fell in the river, and we have a tragedy with her," said Williams.

Search and Rescue officials urge people to be on high alert, not get too close to the water and always wear a life jacket.

Earlier this month, a 19-year-old and 15-year-old from San Bernardino went missing in the river.

On Tuesday, a body was recovered near Keysville. However, it is unknown if the body is one of the missing boys.

If you plan on visiting the Kern River, the Kern River Outfitters in Wofford Heights give out free life jacket rentals.

If you want to enjoy the river and go in, the company offers safe tours.

Although the press conference Thursday aimed at reaching out to outlying communities, only local media was present.