The latest reminder of how treacherous rivers are in Central California right now occurred Wednesday night when three teens were saved from the Kings River.
The teens got swept away by the cold and fast-moving water near Kings River Country Club.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 5:26 p.m. that three teens had been caught up in the current.
None of the teens, approximately 15 to 16 years old, had a raft or flotation device, the sheriff’s office said.
After arriving, rescuers searched for the boys and soon heard their screams for help. They were located about a half-mile downstream and brought to shore by rescuers.
Since April 14 the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department has responded to eight fatal drownings and over 24 swift-water rescues.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has closed the Kings River to boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and floating because the river is at its highest level in years.
Violators will be ticketed, which involves a $225 fine. It’s OK to visit recreation areas and even fish from shore, but don’t enter the water, the sheriff’s office said.
The lower Kings River is also closed in Tulare and Kings counties.
At least six people have drowned in recent weeks.
On May 20, 18-year-old Neng Thao, a senior at Edison High, drowned in the San Joaquin River. He apparently got pulled under by the current as he waded from shore.
Three people have drowned in the Tule River and two in the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park.
Even professional rescuers are having trouble in the fast-moving rivers..
On Tuesday, a sheriff’s rescue raft carrying five Fresno County deputies overturned on the Kings River above Pine Flat Reservoir and two had to be rescued. No one was hurt.
The Tule River in Tulare County above Springville is closed until further notice, and Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno is closed due to flooding.