Foreign Exchange Student Swept Away By Trinity River–Feared Lost

On 06-19-2011, approximately 4:30 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible drowning in the Trinity River across from Tish Tang Creek Campground,

Hoopa. Sheriff’s Deputies responded along with Hoopa Valley Tribal Police , Hoopa Valley Volunteer Fire Department, a United States Coast Guard Helicopter, Humboldt County Sheriff

Search and Rescue Posse personnel and several community volunteers. Upon their arrival, the Sheriff’s Deputies, Hoopa Valley Tribal Police and some community members launched

boats into the river to search for the missing person.

Deputies learned the victim, who has been identified as Jian Kang, 21 years old, from the City of Renqiu, Hebei Province China is a Foreign Exchange Student attending Humboldt

State University and was attending a birthday party along the Trinity River at Tish Tang campground. There were twelve people in attendance at the party when the tragedy occurred.

Witnesses told deputies Kang was wading in the Trinity River when he lost his balance and was swept downstream.

Search and Rescue personnel searched the river until nightfall and were unable to locate Kang. Humboldt State University Police was notified shortly after the incident occurred.

Humboldt State University staff has notified the victim’s family in China who is currently making travel arrangements to come to Humboldt County.

Search and Rescue personnel are on scene searching today for Kang, along with a California Highway Patrol Helicopter.

According to the National Weather Service the Trinity River is currently at 6,140 cu feet per second in the Tish Tang area and the water temperature is 59 degrees. Normally the Trinity River is 2, 630 cu feet per second at this time of year. Everyone is advised to use extreme caution around the Trinity River.




  • I have lived on the Trinity River my whole life and you can ask any Local person who lives here you should not get in the River until at the earliest beginning of July. I am saddened to hear of all these drownings that happen year after year. Even the strongest swimmers would be challenged by the strength of our river. People bring their young children and families to swim on our river way before it is time. It is not a thing to be taken lightly people it takes a fraction of a second to lose your loved one and I will pray for the victims family and friends. PLEASE DO NOT GET IN THE TRINITY RIVER BEFORE IT IS READY TO BE SWAM IN IT IS TOO HIGH AND POWERFUL RIGHT NOW!

  • Amber is so right! As beautiful as the Trinity is, it seems as though it takes at least one every year. A sad fact for our East Hum friends. I am sad for the loss.

  • The people who get swept away each spring are often students from out of the area and are somehow not receiving the crucial information about the river flow and temp and related danger. It’s possible that some of these kids glance at the newspapers occasionally. As with “sneaker wave season”, a small banner in red type on the front of the fold could potentially save many lives around here if it said something as simple as “Swimmers use extreme caution: Trinity River CFS/flows currently ____ above normal, temp is ____. Wear a PFD if you go in the water” I’ve asked the weather service in Eureka to make their marine forecast more accessible on their website, and install a “red alert” during sneaker wave season, and they’re interested, but nothing’s happened yet. Perhaps they need a major funder to found something similar to the avalanche forecasting centers in the Northern Rockies, that have successfully saved many lives through community education and daily radio reports throughout the season. There, people don’t go skiing in the backcountry unless they’ve consulted the daily avalanche report and people are more skilled in avalanche danger assessment due to the frequent reporting on the subject. If more people asked the news outlets around here to report on the subject more frequently, a few lives might be saved.

  • I’m Kang’s friend from his hometown in China.We knew each other from we’re very young.After we all friends hear the serious accident,we couldn’t fall asleep the whole night.I can’t believe the fact and I feel I still in a dream…
    Thank you very much for the people who help to search my friend’s body,and the people who care about my friend.
    I hope he will rest in peace.

    • Liu,
      I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. His death is a tragedy. Our community was so sad to lose such a bright young man who was a guest here.

  • Often times hearing of a tragedy we know there’s a sense of loss. When a human face is given allowing us knowing more, an even greater sense of loss is felt. A friend of Kang Jian, Calvin Li, wrote the following in todays newspaper for us:

    “When I came back from the beach and read an article about Kang Jian, I was very shocked because I knew him pretty well. I immediately contacted friends that were still in town and asked them if they knew anything.

    “For those that knew him, he was a very smart and humble person and also a person that always put a smile on your face even during a bad day. He was a guy that always had a positive attitude and did not have any problems with anyone else. Many students really looked up to him due to his hard-working nature. I would always see him at the library studying for his many exams while I was working. He once told me that he wanted to be a college professor one day so he could share his knowledge with many young minds, and it really breaks my heart to see that the world lost a person that had the potential to inspire countless individuals and change the world.

    “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and it’s sad that unfortunate events bring everyone together, but keep in mind that you will never be forgotten, and there will never be a moment where you are not in our thoughts and prayers. We all love you very much and we will always be thankful and grateful for the joy and happiness that you brought into our lives in the time we knew you. We will miss your presence around us and the positive energy you always brought in with you, whether it be the library, the basketball court, the classroom, or wherever you were. We are all just honored to be your friend.”

    “Until we meet again my friend.”

    (Times-Standard; ‘Remembering Kang Jian: A Good Friend’, by Calvin K. Li)

    I’m sorry for the loss of your dear friend, Calvin and Liu. My thoughts go out to Kang’s family and to you and yours.

  • Thank you,Kym Kemp and skippy.Thank you everyone who live in the lovely place.You saved us from distraught and give us more encourage to face the future.
    Most of our friend knew each other since we were born.We studied in the same palace from nursery to high school.All of us fall into deeply sadness.
    You know,China has the policy that ”every family could only have one child”.Kang is the only child in his family.But also he is the proud of his parents.He always get high make in school,and his poetry often appear in newspaper.He also deep loving in one girl without telling her.He want to star career in USA after graduation,and then welcome his girl.But now the girl’s name is our secret forever.
    Kang’s family now is both sick in bed.but perhaps they will set out on this Wednesday.there seem some problems about China Embassy.I hope they will be strong.
    Humboldt is a beautiful palace,and the people there is quite kindness.thank you all the people living there.I’ll go there someday,and I hope I’ll buy a little house there when I’m old,so that I could stay with my forever young friend there.
    Now,I’ll waiting for his back,without the Humboldt’s tree leaf that he promise to bring to me…
    Thank you.

  • Liu, I am very sad. Thank you for your kind words about Kang. Please let Kang’s loving parents know we share their sorrow and we give our love to them.
    I hope these words may translate well for you, his friends, and family, Liu:


    peace… skippy

    • I’m sorry, Liu, the above words didn’t translate.

      We’re very sorry for the loss of your friend and a loved son. Your words are very touching and heart felt. Thank you. Please let his friends and parents know he is missed. Kang was a very smart and beautiful young man, helping others around him, and making the world a better place. We are very saddened. We hope his parents will not be sick and will feel better; they are in our thoughts. Peace and love to you, Kang’s loving Mother and Father, his family, and his friends.

    • Google translation:

      “We are for your loss of dear friend and the son of regret. We are sad for his parents, want them to good. Kang is a smart, beautiful young man to help the world. His loss is enormous. He was very loved. Kang is in our thoughts. Please, safe love and peace to you.”

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