Posted by: Dispatch
As a matter of public safety, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux would like to extend the following message to all residents and visitors of Tulare County.
Tulare County is home to many spectacular and world famous outdoor recreational opportunities including numerous rivers. While inviting and beautiful, rivers are potentially very dangerous in the spring and early summer. Annual snow melt creates potentially dangerous conditions including extremely cold water and swift, very deceiving currents.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of the dangers of fast moving rivers and white water. The Sheriff’s message is simple: Stay away from the river’s edge and don’t enter the water, especially if you do not know how to swim or have been consuming alcohol. When hiking or enjoying the outdoors, be alert and do not let alcohol or any other substance cloud your judgement.
As air temperatures warm, it will be tempting to enter the rivers but don’t be fooled. The water is very cold and fast throughout the spring and early summer. Never leave your children unattended near any body of water. Even if you are an experienced swimmer you should stay out of the water.
Please do not approach the river’s edge or enter white water under any circumstances. The current conditions in many of our waterways are not survivable despite safety equipment, training or experience in white water. Inner tubes or other small flotation devices are inadequate and extremely dangerous as they are easily overturned in the swift currents and can be deflated by impacts with rocks and branches.
In response to multiple fatalities in preceding weeks, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux is currently working with the US Forest Service to close public access to dangerous portions of the Tule River. Until official notice, Sheriff Boudreaux strongly advises visitors to stay away from these areas. While we encourage visitors to enjoy rural Tulare County, safety remains our number one priority. Be mindful of your children, use sound judgement and be safe!