A man who tried to rescue a family member in trouble on the Kings River never made it out alive. He was no match for the swift chilly water roaring near Winton Park northeast of Sanger.
Law enforcement moved quickly Sunday afternoon to search for a swimmer in trouble. The river patrol was all eyes as it came upstream. There were eyes in the sky and the Star Rescue team ready to hit the water at a moment's notice also responded.
Fresno County Sheriff's Sgt. Brent Stalker talked about the initial call to 911. "It sounded like he went into the water to save a child and it sounded like it was his own."
Sgt. Stalker says the child got out alive. But a flight nurse with the sky life team let law enforcement on shore know the rescue was now a recovery effort. The man drowned. "He's face down and lifeless. 10 feet off the bank and he's just floating right down. We just saw him going under the power line."
The swift current carried the man's body more than a mile downstream. Robert Andrade watched from the bank of the river. "I was right on the edge, on the edge of the river where it was happening. That's when the diver came in. They started going around and see if they could see the body float by."
Water fueling the Kings River is coming from the bottom of Pine Flat Reservoir. It's swift, freezing cold and far from ideal for swimming. "The cold gets them quickly and then the current is so quick that it tires them out so fast. It's hard to survive that."
The name of the man who drowned has not been released by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
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