San Diego hiker drowns trying to cross river - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego hiker drowns trying to cross river

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Search and rescue teams in Fresno County say the man who drowned in a raging river was an experienced outdoorsman from San Diego. 

YouTube video posted by Luca Chiarabini shows his passion for mountains, rivers and the extreme. 

Last Thursday morning, Chiarabini was with two friends when he attempted to cross the treacherous Kings River - about 60 miles east of Fresno.  

He tied a rope to himself and secured it to a rock, but the river current was just too much and he drifted into the rapids. 

"It's a sad set of circumstances and we feel bad for his family," said Fresno Sheriff's Public Information Officer Tony Botti. "The way that river is flowing this year with the rains that we've had, it's moving. We know that Luca was obviously very experienced; nature is a crazy thing." 

It took 10 rescue crew members and 8 hours to pull Chiarabini out of the river. 

Botti says he was a volunteer with the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department Mountain and Cave Rescue Ream.      

"It's kind of ironic, he would be the type to get called out to help somebody just like this, and here we were trying to rescue him," said Botti. 

The Kings River had to be closed down earlier this summer in a more recreational area because the outflows from a nearby dam were three times faster than normal. 

"The flows are swift on it right now and you can see what it can do to a person," Botti said. 

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