“Body of Kern River Drowning Victim, William Hoxie, Recovered After Month-Long Search”

The body of a kayaker who drowned in the Kern River last month has been recovered and identified as 26-year-old William Hoxie. Despite several attempts over the last month, the dangerous river conditions prevented the retrieval of his body until now. Hoxie was kayaking with friends when his kayak flipped over and he became trapped against a tree. The swift water rescue team from Tulare County, along with assistance from Kern County Sheriff’s Department and Tulare County Fire Departments, used a tech Highline and swift water rescue boat to recover his body. The sheriff’s office emphasizes that all rivers in the county are closed to inexperienced kayakers due to the dangerous conditions. Rhett Rodriguez reported

Kern River Drowned Kayaker's Body Recovered and Identified

Body of Kayaker Who Drowned in Kern River Last Month Recovered

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – After multiple unsuccessful attempts, authorities have finally recovered the body of a kayaker who drowned in the Kern River last month.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Deputies successfully retrieved the body on Thursday night, putting an end to the month-long search.

The kayaker, identified as 26-year-old William Hoxie, tragically lost his life on June 14. He was a passionate kayaker.

Due to the dangerous river conditions at the time of the incident, rescuers were unable to retrieve his body. The fast-flowing river, with a flow rate of over 5,000 cubic feet per second, posed a significant risk to rescuers.

“The river was just flowing way too fast, it was well over five thousand cubic feet per second at the time. It just wasn’t safe to send rescuers in the river,” stated John Nicholson from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

According to deputies, Hoxie was kayaking with four friends when his kayak overturned, leaving him trapped in the rushing water.

His body became wedged against a tree, where it remained for over a month until the water levels subsided enough for the Tulare County’s swift water rescue team to safely recover him.

“We also had help from Kern County Sheriff’s Department and Tulare County Fire Departments on this rescue. They used a tech Highline and a swift water rescue boat to make this recovery,” Nicholson added.

Despite the lower water levels, the sheriff’s office reminds the public that all rivers in the county are closed to inexperienced kayakers due to the inherent dangers.

“It’s hot, and the sheriff understands that people want to cool off in the waterways. However, we recommend utilizing water safety measures at lakes or community pools. The rivers are far too treacherous to enter,” explained Nicholson.

The sheriff’s office is available to provide answers to any questions regarding the qualifications of an experienced kayaker.

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