There's danger lurking on the rivers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Nature's majestic beauty is felt all around Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Depending on where you're standing, the rivers can offer a calm inviting feel - but that's where the danger lies.

"People come down and they go - it's not deep enough. They go a little deeper and they're getting swept downstream and going into those hazards," says Don Lester of Sierra Rescue International.

The Kings River is currently flowing at breakneck speed with temperatures at 45 degrees.

Cedar Grove Rangers responded to four swift water calls in 2018.

On Friday, 16 rangers came together for a special training along the river that included a variety of rescue techniques.

"We do things like rescue on the river on a tethered line to get a patient and get him back to shore. We utilize boats and working platforms in case there might be a body recovered or a rescue needed and a bunch of other things," Lester says.

"There are certain spots at this time of year that we cannot rescue from. So if people go into the water in that lower canyon there's no chance of getting people out."

While most rivers are flowing higher than normal, experts predict we still have another month and a half before rivers will peak.
That's why it's so important to address specific rescue challenges now - before the snowpack melts even further.

"We use this as a training because it's very challenging, but downstream this goes into huge massive white water," Lester says.

Sections of the river, while beautiful, are extremely dangerous.
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