State - INACTIVE

Two deaths within 2 weeks at Sequoia National Park were at the same location for similar reasons

Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park where two men died during similar, separate instances within just two weeks from each other. On June 26, 2018, a man and 7-month-old baby were left in critical condition after being rescued from the river.
Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park where two men died during similar, separate instances within just two weeks from each other. On June 26, 2018, a man and 7-month-old baby were left in critical condition after being rescued from the river. Sequoia National Park Service

A 22-year-old died after attempting to rescue a 5-year-old boy from a river in Sequoia National Park early Saturday, officials say.

Tulare County Sheriff's Office and the fire department were notified of the incident at 7:15 a.m. Saturday.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks summarized in a news release how the tragedy unfolded:

A family arrived to the park around 6:45 a.m. and walked down to the Kaweah River near the entrance. The boy slipped into the river and an unidentified 22-year-old man, who arrived with the family, jumped in to rescue him. The parents also jumped in to help.

Nearby fishermen were able to rescue the parents and child from the river and began CPR on the child. They successfully resuscitated the child, who was taken to a local hospital by a Life Flight helicopter where he will undergo treatment.

The 22-year-old's body was quickly swept away and was recovered two hours after the incident. The relationship between him and the family is unknown.

This marks fatality No. 2 in the river within the last two weeks, officials said, adding that the nature of both fatalities are similar.

Park officials say the issue is not a matter of people trying to swim. They warn that rocks nearby the river are slick and to keep a safe distance from them.

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