Man pulled from ponding basin dies in Fresno Co

FRESNO, Calif.

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The drowning happened just before 1:00 Sunday afternoon behind the Shady Lakes mobile home park on Chestnut near Lincoln south of Fresno.

Rescuers rushed to save the 22-year-old man who was pulled out of a ponding basin Sunday afternoon. But their efforts were unsuccessful.

Fresno County sheriff's officials say the man was out at the water with two friends. He jumped into the cold water. They did not.

Sgt. Frances Devins said, "He went in, walked into the water, about 10 minutes later when he hadn't come back the companions he was with started calling 911."

It's not clear yet exactly why the man never came up to the surface on his own. But Sgt. Frances Devins says alcohol is likely to blame.

"If you're going to drink, do not go into the water," Sgt. Devins said. "That is probably one of the biggest misconceptions, people think they're going to have a few beers, they're going to be fine even if they know how to swim. They go in and they don't come up for one reason or another."

Mike Peal lives in the area and says he and his family swim in this water often. "It's pretty shallow. You can actually go out to the middle of this pond and stand up to your waste. There's a couple of deep spots. Still if you go down, you can touch bottom and bounce back to the top."

Peal says he feels sorry for the man who drowned - but he's hoping a lesson is learned. "Drinking and swimming doesn't go together."

And whether you're sober or not - officials say these water ways are not safe. Just a few hours after the drowning Action News spotted another group of people floating in the ponding basin.

"Don't swim in canals or ponding basins or irrigation ditches or any unsupervised water."

The sheriff's office says water is often flowing into and out of these ponding basins - which is another danger.

The man's identity has not been released yet. The coroner's office says the family is still being notified.

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