Man hospitalized after near-drowning at Lake Yosemite dies

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced County Sheriff's Office says a man who was rushed to the hospital after nearly drowning at Lake Yosemite over the weekend died Monday.

Authorities say the man was pulled out of the water by bystanders after he started struggling. Another man he was swimming with also went underwater but never came back up.

"Sheriff's Office dive team responded, conducted a search of the area and unfortunately, located that second person deceased," says Aaron Rosenberg with the Merced County Sheriff's Office told Action News on Sunday.

It took about an hour for the Merced County Sheriff's Water Rescue and Recovery team to get to the lake.

But officials say when it comes to drowning, those first few minutes are crucial.

"We try to respond as quickly as possible but in order to save somebody's life, you would have to be there at the time that it happened," Rosenberg said.

Officials say the two friends had just been hanging out at the lake.

Sunday's tragedy -- a reminder for swimmers ahead of summer to be careful in the water.

"Water inherently is very dangerous and it doesn't take several feet of water for somebody to drown or become in trouble," Rosenberg said.

Deputies with the MCSO continue their investigation into this - which includes interviewing witnesses.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.