TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – As deputies continue to search for the man who went missing in the Kaweah River last week, Tulare County Sheriff Boudreaux wants to remind everyone that local waterways are closed to inexperienced rafters and kayakers.

Sheriff Boudreaux says exceptions will be made for certain businesses and those with experience and proper equipment.

Businesses on waterways that operate with proper safety equipment, as well as experienced, kayakers and rafters are allowed on the water. Campgrounds also remain open.

Officials say those who are not experienced kayakers or rafters, and who are not operating businesses along the local waterways should remain off of the water.

Sheriff Boudreaux says to keep these factors in mind:

  • The rivers will be higher and faster than in the last several years
  • A type three or five whitewater life jacket is required. No lake or pool life jackets
  • A high grade whitewater raft or kayak
  • A whitewater helmet
  • No swimming
  • No inner tubing
  • People are only allowed on the river with a permitted commercial outfitter or experienced river runner
  • If you are a private rafter or kayaker, do not get into the river without knowing the rapids on the section you are on. Ask a local with experience for information.
  • Lake Isabella, Lake Kaweah and Lake Success are great alternatives for people looking to swim and be by the water.
  • Throw bags, First Aid kit, communication device
  • Be aware of children near the rivers edge