TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) -- What was supposed to be a sunny, laid back trip to the Tule River became a family's worst nightmare when rapids swept away another victim.
"On the Tule River, it's the third one in about three weeks since mid-April," said Lt. Duane Cornett, Tulare County Sheriff's Office.
A sign posted near this trail head warns against swimming, but friends say Jose Carlos Molina of Bakersfield was in the water somewhere upstream. They heard him yelling but could not get there in time to help.
A few hours later, about a mile and a half downstream, deputies recovered his body. Molina's the 5th victim who has drowned in a Tulare County river since April 14th.
"The water is moving extremely fast, it's extremely deep, and people don't realize how powerful the water can be so we are seeing an increase," said Cornett.
Deputies said the above average snow melts created the dangerous conditions-- they said visitors should not just avoid the water but also the river's edges.
"The granite when it gets wet, it's extremely treacherous so be careful when you are walking on it," said Cornett.
With the amount of snow that still has yet to melt the Sheriff's Office said they are working with the US Forest Service to close public access to dangerous parts of the Tule River which will hopefully put an end to these fatalities.
Body of man pulled from Tule River near Springville
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