1 dead, 1 missing after being swept into Tule River

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Investigators said a woman in her 20s fell into the water and a friend jumped in after her. (KFSN)

A popular camp ground is now a command post. Along the Tule River near Coffee Camp Campground the search continues. The worst case scenario is that they will find another drowning victim--the second of two people who fell in the rapids.

"It's one of those areas where the water is running so high and it's so dangerous," said Chris Wenzinger, Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said a woman in her 20s fell into the water and a friend jumped in after her.

"One person was looking in the water and apparently slipped and fell and doesn't know how to swim," said Wenzinger.

"I understand a group of friends were up there, one fell in and one was trying to assist the other and fell in with her," said Joanne Bear, Tulare County Fire.

Nearly 40 deputies, firefighters, and search and rescue divers combed through the winding hillside while some searched the freezing river below. Authorities say those who went in the water wore special gear to protect themselves from hypothermia.

"It's swift running water, it's cold, you know this is snow melt off, and right now it's running really high because there is rain up above us," said Wenzinger.

On Friday search and rescue teams will likely be checking the ponding basins and pooling areas for any sign of the second victim.

Related Topics:
newsrescuetulare countydrowningTulare CountySpringvilleSierra - Foothills
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