Swollen ‘Killer Kern' River Claims Lives Amid Mountain Runoff

Rescuers have been scrambling on California's snowmelt-swollen Kern River, which has claimed the lives of 8 people since March. 

The Los Angeles Times reports Wednesday that over the long holiday weekend one more person died and two others went missing. 

And on Saturday crews pulled out the body of a swimmer lost to the raging waters more than a week earlier.

As the winter's heavy snowfall melts, the river dubbed the "Killer Kern" has become dangerously swift with cold mountain runoff. 

The newspaper says Kern County has relied on 50 trained volunteers to help save swimmers caught in powerful currents and recover the bodies of those who have drowned.

Sheriff's Sgt. Zachary Bittle says a team on the lower river has already logged more than 3,000 mission hours this year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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