A Kern County woman died in the Tule River and a second woman was missing Thursday afternoon as searchers scoured the river east of Porterville.
The two women, described as being in their early 20s, were hiking in a party of five along the Tule River east of the Upper Coffee Camp campground at a popular site known as the Lower Stairs about 10 a.m. Thursday when one woman fell into the river and another tried to assist her, said Lt. Chris Wenzinger of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.
A third member of the party who remained on the river bank tried to rescue the two who fell in the river but was unsuccessful, Wenzinger said.
The Tulare County Swift Water Rescue Team was called to the scene and officials recovered the body of one woman from the river, said Joanne Bear of the Tulare County Fire Department. The body was flown out by helicopter, she said.
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Thirty to 40 people remained on the banks of the river, trying to find the missing woman. The rescue team was using a drone to search the river.