Outdoors

Kings River running fast and wild in Kings Canyon

See why getting in the river could be a deadly decision

Swift water rescue team members trained on the Kings River at Kings Canyon National Park's Cedar Grove last week, but because of the heavy spring runoff, there are times when they may not be able to help.
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Swift water rescue team members trained on the Kings River at Kings Canyon National Park's Cedar Grove last week, but because of the heavy spring runoff, there are times when they may not be able to help.

As temperatures spike, the Sierra snowmelt picks up, swelling rivers – and bringing warnings about safety.

Don Lester, lead instructor for Sierra Rescue International, gave three days of training last week for the Kings Canyon-Sequoia National Park swift water rescue team on the South Fork of the Kings River in Kings Canyon and cautioned that even when a river appears tranquil on the surface, its fast-moving current can rapidly carry you downstream and into harm’s way.

Too, he cautioned waders who might think one more step isn’t a big deal – but often can lead from calf-deep water to a steep drop-off.

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