Tricky spots cause drownings, extra danger on Valley's open waterways

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A man drowned at Millerton Lake on Sunday and a 4-year-old drowned at Skaggs Bridge. (KFSN)

Two drownings and two close calls on Fresno County waterways have families holding onto their kids a little tighter and Action News found a few tricky spots creating extra danger.

The waters at Skaggs Bridge Park can be deadly. Four-year-old Seth Reyes is its latest victim. Sheriff's deputies say the boy was underwater for about 30 minutes before rescuers pulled him out.

"They were trying to take vitals and pulse," said Susan Cortez, who helped give the boy CPR. "He was no pulse, but when they started doing more CPR he came back with a slight pulse. That's when the paramedics and air flight came and took him."

Cortez says the scene on Sunday was chaotic, with family members screaming Seth's name and several people trying to help.

By Monday, a deceptive calm returned.

An Action News reporter walked out to the area where the little boy drowned. The water is about five feet deep and it gets a little bit deeper where he was found. There's also a slight whirlpool where the boy went under and that may have actually kept him under the water.

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Two drownings and two close calls on Fresno County waterways have families holding onto their kids a little tighter and Action News found a few tricky spots creating extra danger.



Just a few hours earlier, 45-year-old Raul Jimenez drowned at Millerton Lake. The Santa Ana resident ventured into deeper water near a couple sand islands when he saw his granddaughter struggling to stay afloat. She survived, but he never surfaced from the open water swimming hole.

"If you get in trouble there's nothing to hold onto and if you find yourself in trouble, there's a high probability you could drown," said Mark Deleon, the supervising ranger at Millerton State Park.
Jimenez and his family were a good distance away from the swimming zone patrolled by lifeguards, but rescuers got to him within a couple minutes once they were alerted. It just wasn't fast enough.
A lot of parents told us the latest troubles highlight the importance of the water safety gear they force their kids to wear.

"I know that we get busy sometimes and we can't keep an eye on them every second, but that's why we have the life jackets," said Ashley Nieto-Garcia, who had a group of ten kids at Skaggs Bridge Monday.

Rescuers saved two youngsters who almost drowned at Shaver Lake Sunday. They were still in the hospital Monday.
Related Topics:
newsdrowningwater rescuewaterwaysfresno countyMillerton LakeShaver LakeFresno County
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