A search party have discovered the remains of a four-year-old boy in a surging California river on Monday, a day after his eight-year-old sister lost her life when they were swept away by the current.
Divers in a boat saw the boy’s body in the Kings River, about 1.75 miles (2.8km) downstream from where he and his sister went into the water, the Fresno county sheriff’s office revealed in a statement.
Officials are yet to release the kids names, nor provide details on how they died but they did reveal that the children were not wearing life jackets, and had gone into the water with their mother and another adult while trying to make their way to climb on a specific rock. The river was off limits because of high water levels.
The Kings and San Joaquin rivers have been closed to recreational users since 14 March because heavy winter storms and melting snow created high water levels and hazardous conditions, the sheriff’s department said.
“Numerous closure signs are placed along the waterways informing the public of the importance of staying out of the water,” the department said.
Warming weather is melting huge amounts of accumulated snow in the mountains that accumulated in a series of epic winter storms.
“The conditions of our waterways will only become more dangerous heading into summer as snow melts and dams release even more water into the rivers,” the sheriff’s office said. “The water remains cold, in the low 50s, the current is swift and trees serve as dangerous obstacles.”
Further north, authorities were investigating after a body was found on Friday in Folsom Lake north-east of Sacramento. And two people remained missing after being swept away by the American River in recent weeks, the Placer county sheriff’s office said.
Authorities have warned people to exercise caution along rivers where high water levels and stronger flows are creating dangerous conditions.
“Last winter’s heavy snowpack is melting down into our rivers, and the water is colder (45F), stronger and higher – it will remain that way for at least the next month, possibly longer,” the Placer county sheriff’s office said in a statement last week. “Be river-wise, this year IS different.”