BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — “He may have only spent a short time here in Kernville, but his impact on the community was significant,” expressed Evan Moore, a friend of the presumed victim who tragically lost his life on June 14 when he was swept away in the Kern River.
On that fateful day, five professional kayakers, comprising three women and two men, embarked on their usual kayaking routine.
Around 5:30 p.m., the Tulare Sheriff’s Office received a distress call near Ant Canyon in Tulare, just a few minutes away from Kernville.
Both the Tulare and Kern County Sheriff’s Offices have stated that the endangered individual is presumed to be deceased, and the current efforts are focused on recovering the body.
According to Evan Moore, a close friend of the victim, the professional kayaker was highly respected by many. “He was an amazing person who always brought joy to everyone he met,” remarked Moore.
Although the kayaker’s identity has not been officially disclosed, it has been revealed that he was not a member of the Kernville community and had planned to become a river guide in the area.
“It’s astonishing because he had only been here for three to four days before the incident, but his presence had a profound impact,” expressed Moore.
The deceased individual hailed from Redding, California and came from a family with a strong background in boating and kayaking.
Moore has been in contact with the victim’s family following the tragedy and noted that they are focusing on the positive aspects. “They understand that he passed away doing what he loved the most, and they are finding solace and gratitude in that,” shared Moore.
Although authorities have not yet recovered the kayaker’s body from the river, Moore acknowledged that the family and the community recognize the challenges associated with the process. “It’s difficult and a strange feeling, but everyone agrees that our safety comes first before addressing the situation,” stated Moore.
The Tulare and Kern County Sheriff’s Offices are diligently working on a comprehensive plan to retrieve the victim’s body from the river.