Heard on the news this morning, August 4, that a kayaker drowned near Yucca Point on the Kings River. I assume that they were either boating SF Kings in Horseshoe Bend or had launched at Yucca Point to boat the Garlic Falls section. The body was recovered, but the name has not been released.
Information is way to vague at this point to make any speculation or assumption. Stay tuned…
Yeah, it really is unclear if the victim was actually a whitewater kayaker or just somebody swimming in the river next to the highway. The flow is still pretty high up there for most boaters, I think. The radio report that I heard just said kayaker drowned near Yucca Point, so I assumed whitewater kayaker.
The drowning on july 26 is a completely different incident, on a completely different section of river than the drowning near Yucca Point. I sent a message to the sheriff’s office but have not heard back.
The story from kmph is that rescue was called from a gps distress signal and that 3 people were kayaking when something went wrong.
The flows are still pretty high for that section, just coming into range.
I don’t know any details, but the victim was Luca Chiarabini. He was a well known canyoneer, caver, adventurer from southern California. I had not met him, but have many mutual friends. Viewing in Fresno at Chapel of the light on Tuesday, Aug 8, 2017. 1 to 3. Memorial afterwards.
Here is a link to an update on the story looks like they were hiking not kayaking.
I got pretty full beta from one of the team at a memorial last night. They had crossed the river on Wednesday from south to north, to canyoneer a canyon just upstream. After rapelling and downclimbing Deer Creek, they stayed on the north side of the Kings till morning. Luca tried to tow a rope across to facilitate the other two crossing. One other team member had already tried it and they pulled him back across when he decided he would not make it. Luca made it further, but too much rope was out. (with the current dragging it downstream.) They were unable to pendulum him all the way back to shore. The rope came taught with Luca in the small rapid immediately below the confluence. Luca probably had some sort of releasable knot but was unable to free it. The others tried to get throw ropes to him to no avail. They cut the rope, but he was perhaps unconscious by then. He floated downstream till the rope snagged again and stranded him underwater.
Lot of good stories about Luca. Super enthusiastic and super helpful guy. Everybody loved and respected him.