KCSO updates sign at mouth of Kern River Canyon to mark 315 deaths

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KERN RIVER CANYON (KGET) — Today, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office updated the sign on Highway 178 at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon marking lives lost in the river over the past year.

The sign was updated to show 315 lives lost since 1968, an increase from 307 the previous year. The sign aims to educate residents about the dangers of the river.

“Sometimes (people) jump in on purpose, but usually if they fall in, they weren’t paying attention to their footing,” said KCSO Search and Rescue Coordinator Kevin Kimmel.

The department urges people to be safe if they plan on going around the water and make sure to have a life jacket on at all times. If you fall in, don’t fight the current. They say try to make your way to the side of the river and work your way over.

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