A 22-year-old woman died Friday evening after getting swept underwater by the currents of the Trinity River at Kimtu Beach.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the beach, a popular swimming spot near Willow Creek, at approximately 6:18 pm., according to a statement sent by Public Information Specialist Samantha Karges.

“Hoopa Tribal Officers and medical personnel were first to arrive on scene and performed life-saving efforts on the victim,” Karges said, specifying that CPR was initiated. [CORRECTION: Karges later told the Outpost thatit was actually the Yurok Tribal Police rather than the HTO.] “Despite these efforts, the victim succumbed to her injuries.”

Drownings are a tragically common occurrence on Humboldt County rivers, particularly the Trinity, whose pristine beauty is belied by swift and icy currents. This was the second drowning in Humboldt County rivers this year. The other victim was 65-year-old Leonard Crothers, who drowned in the Eel River at Holmes Flat in April.

The Sheriff’s Office is awaiting confirmation that the victim’s next-of-kin have been notified before publicly releasing her identity.


UPDATE: Shortly after this post was published, the Sheriff’s Office issued a press release. Not much new information was included, though it said an autopsy of the victim has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 27, and it included the following list of safety tips for local river swimming:

  • Be sure to check river levels and flow information with the National Weather Service, in addition to water release information for the Trinity River.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Avoid swimming into a fast-moving current. If the current seems too strong, get out of the water.
  • Don’t consume alcohol while swimming.
  • Inflatable water toys should not be used in place of a life jacket. Young children should wear a life jacket when swimming in the river. Watch children at all times.