San Jose teen nearly drowns in Sequoia National Park

A 17-year-old girl nearly drowned in Sequoia National Park on Saturday afternoon after being swept away in a river.

The call came in to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ dispatch at 4:16 p.m. after park visitors reported someone in distress in the Kaweah River near Hospital Rock.

Rangers found the San Jose teen clinging to a rock when two visitors pulled her to safety.

She had been swimming in the river at Hospital Rock when she was swept 500 feet downstream by strong currents through sections of rapids, park officials said.

The girl complained of shortness of breath and pain where she had hit rocks in the river. She was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Ten park staff and a deputy sheriff from Tulare County responded to the swiftwater rescue.

“The person involved in this incident was incredibly fortunate, as others have died in similar scenarios,” said Incident Commander Chris Waldschmidt. “Don’t let their beauty fool you, …rivers can be deadly.”