THREE men are thought to have drowned after jumping into the water to rescue a boy in California, officials say.
The boy, 8, was swept away by a stream at Three Mile Slough, a popular swimming area in Sacramento County, said battalion commander Brandon Wilson of the Rio Vista Fire Department.
The child was pulled unharmed from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, however, five men jumped in after he was pulled down in an attempt to rescue him, Wilson said.
Three of the five men did not return to shore.
“They saw them go under and never saw them come back,” the battalion commander said.
Family at the scene identified the missing men as Edwin Rivas, Edwin Perez and Danilo Solorzano, local news station KCRA reported.
“This happened so fast, three people, my friends … and we came here all the time,” Juan Cabrera told the news.
Cabrera was one of five men who jumped in to rescue the boy.
“My heart is broken,” said Elmer Rodriguez, a friend of the family.
“It seems to be calmer, but the undercurrent and currents in that area are pretty bad,” he said.
A search and rescue mission for the missing swimmers had turned into a recovery effort by early evening, officials said.
“This is an unguarded swimming beach, so we have no lifeguards on duty,” said Paul Wissler, captain of California State Parks.
“It’s mainly a fishing access from an unregulated track in the state park … this is titled unguarded water, so the water is moving at that moment.”
The family had been swimming near the Brannan Island State Recreation Area, a state park that is often full of swimmers for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“What we’ve done in the past is collect life jackets and put them out on the board back in the pool area,” said Wilson.
“We would have to go every weekend and recreate them.”
But that practice ended when the park closed in April after American Land & Leisure, a camping and management company for parks, terminated its contract with California.
Boaters were able to return to the coast when it reopened on weekends from June, including swimmers.
“There was more of a swimming area to the back that was a lot quieter,” Wilson said.
“Now people basically find areas and just go into the water, probably not realizing how deep it is.”
Sgt Rod Grassman, spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, said the child did not need medical attention.
“Deputies searched the waterways with negative results,” he said of the missing men.
“After exhausting all search efforts, deputies shift their focus to a recovery.”
According to the US Coast Guardthe recovery mission will continue throughout the night.
Three members of same family ‘dead in drowning’ after trying to save boy swept away at popular California swimming spot Source link Three members of same family ‘dead in drowning’ after trying to save boy swept away at popular California swimming spot