A man in his late 20s was hospitalized after nearly drowning Friday afternoon in the Kings River, which has been closed to recreational use since early June.
The man reportedly tried to swim across the river near Pine Flat Road Bridge, just below the dam. Halfway across the river, he began to panic and the river’s strong current swept him away, Botti said.
Cal Fire Got to Him First
As he floated downstream, he grabbed a bush and held on, waiting for rescuers to reach him. Deputies responded by vehicle, helicopter, and boat, but it was Cal Fire firefighters who reached him first.
Authorities closed the Kings River from Pine Flat Dam to the Tulare and Kings county lines because of swift, chilly water from Sierra snowpack runoff. The stretch has been closed to recreational use since June 4. Violators face a minimum fine of $225. Botti said it hadn’t been determined whether the man would be cited.