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River’s 3rd Drowning Victim Identified

July 6, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Editor’s Note: The Kern Valley Sun, Lake Isabella, Calif., published the following story about three weekend drownings in the Kern River. Click here to view photos taken at the recovery scene.

And the drownings continue.

On Sunday (July 3), at approximately 12:45 p.m., first responders were dispatched to a report of a body floating face down sighted in the Kern River. Family members said they last saw Amilcar Guardado, 37, of Los Angeles, near the Keyesville north campground.

The body of Moises Aguilar, 31, of Panorama City, was located and recovered at approximately 3:00 p.m., near the Keyesville north campground.

Witnesses said Guardado was swimming in the Kern River near the campground area. He attempted to grab onto a rock and was swept downstream, according to a Kern County Coroner’s report.

Guardado’s body was spotted in a strainer of trees near the Hwy 178 bridge that crosses the Kern River south of the Granite Raft Launch at the Elizabeth Norris Rd. offramp.

The Kern County Fire Department, the Kern Valley Search and Rescue Team and Care Ambulance responded to the area.

At 1:16 p.m., Guardado, the third drowning in the Kern this weekend, was moved to shore and transported to Kern Valley Hospital where he later died.

At 2:30 p.m., Saturday, July 2, Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Volunteers from the Kern Valley Swiftwater Rescue team, Sheriff’s Helicopter Air-5, Kern Valley Deputies, Kern County Fire, BLM Fire, and U.S. Forest Service Fire responded to a report of a body floating face down in the Kern River near the Keyesville area.

The body of Moises Aguilar, 31, of Panorama City, was located and recovered at approximately 3:00 p.m., near the Keyesville north campground.

Witnesses reported seeing Aguilar, who was not wearing a life jacket, jump into the Kern River and being swept downriver.

Later in the evening, at 7:51 p.m., the Kern County Sheriff’s Communication Center received information of a male swimmer, identified as David Medina, 44, of Montibello, in the Kern River in distress.

Witnesses reported seeing him being swept downstream and lost sight of him below the Sandy Flat Day Use area. A short time later, campers at Hobo Campground, just south of Sandy Flat, reported seeing a body being swept downstream by the churning water.

Medina was camping with friends at Sandy Flat Campground, who said he was not wearing a life vest.

Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Volunteers from the Kern Valley Swift Water Rescue Team, Sheriff’s Helicopter, Kern Valley Patrol Deputies, Kern County Fire, and U. S. Forest Service responded to the area and searched for Medina.

At 8:41 p.m., searchers had not located Medina and the search was suspended. Medina is considered missing and presumed drowned. The search for Medina is ongoing.

First responders and rescue crews shake their heads. “We have to stop this,” one veteran said Saturday.

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