Sheriff’s swiftwater teams are taking up positions in Hart Park and the Kern River Valley should anyone find themselves in trouble this Memorial Day. Sgt. Zack Bittle says the all-volunteer crews put their own lives at risk every time they put in the water for a rescue, donating over 45-thousand man hours last year. There were a record 15 drownings last year as the Kern River flowed at over five-thousand cubic feet per second, but Bittle says the much lower level this year is still very swift and cold, and people who enter the water should use extreme caution.

Suzanne Grant