A Southern California rapper went missing after he was sucked under by a river current, according to reports.
Michael Ramirez, of Buena Park, Calif., jumped into the notoriously dangerous Kern River on a hot day during his 27th birthday celebration, his friends told the OC Register.
“It was 115 degrees,” girlfriend Erica Zambada, 25, told the paper. “We were sitting on a rock. Michael jumped in to cool down. He’s a fish—he loves to swim. He said, ‘The water is calm.’ But then an undercurrent swept him away.”
Christ Caballero, Ramirez’s band-mate, tied a rope around his arm.
“I got within a foot of him, but pockets of current acted like a suction, pulling him under,” said Caballero, 28. “I saw his head bob up one more time, and then I didn’t see him again.”
The Kern Valley Sheriff’s Department search-and-rescue team arrived and tried to locate the Ramirez—known as Dossicc in the group Rebellion Warfare—but to no avail.
His friends and family members are still keeping hope that he’s still alive—days after he disappeared. “We still have faith he is alive,” Zambada said, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The Bakersfield Fire Department said that six people have drowned in the Kern River—known as the “Killer Kern”—this year. Since 1968, the river has taken some 280 people, the agency added.
Zambada’s advice for people who want to enjoy themselves in the Kern river safely:
“Don’t come. It’s 115 degrees. What are people going to do when it’s 115 degrees? They get in the water,” she told Bakersfield.com. “Getting in the water should not be an option. That water is evil. Don’t go in.”