A young California girl enjoying a hot summer afternoon in Sequoia National Park drowned in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River near Hospital Rock when the current swept her through some rapids and trapped her under a rock.
The call for help for the 13-year-old, from Tulare, was received by rangers about 3 p.m. Saturday. Rescue efforts continued for more than an hour, when they were transformed to recovery efforts. Rangers finally managed to retrieve the girl's body about 5:30 p.m., the park said.
“Once the high water of spring has passed, the river can appear deceptively calm,” said Ranger David Fireman, who headed the rescue efforts. “However, there are still strong currents. Between
that and the rocky riverbed, the river remains dangerous all year.”
This is the first drowning in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks this year, although there have been several close calls. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death in these and other national parks.