Location: Calkins Flat on the Upper Kern River

Incident Date: 6/19/19

Incident Time: 2300 hours

City: Upper Kern River

Posted by: Media Relations

A man who went missing on the Kern River Wednesday, June 19, 2019, has not been found.

The victim, Gerald Gonzales, 38, of Paramount, CA was last seen by friends in the Upper Kern River on a pool-toy inner tube at Calkins Flat at 6 p.m. and has not been seen since.

Gonzales was not wearing a helmet or a life vest. 

The Kern River was flowing at approximately 6,000 cubic feet per second, Lt. Kemmerling said.

“The Kern River is running so hard, not even the commercial river guides are on it, in that area” he said. 

On Thursday and Friday, aerial searches were performed by helicopter. Gonzales’ inner tube was located approximately a mile down river, however he has not been spotted and is presumed to be deceased, Lt. Kemmerling said.

The Sheriff’s Office has been in direct contact with the victim’s family each day and they are aware that the search is now a recovery effort. 

Although it’s too dangerous to put rescue personnel in the river, searching from the air will continue and resident deputies will check the area. 

“We will not stop until Mr. Gonzales is recovered and returned to his family,” Lt. Kemmerling said.