Fresno Waterway Awareness

Jordan Brunson, Staff Writer

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It seems every year many people die of drowning, most from swimming in rivers, lakes, canals, etc. The most recent death due to drowning in the Central Valley was about a few weeks ago on May 12th.

The person was initially pronounced missing until his body was found on May 20th, submerged in the San Joaquin River. The victim of this tragedy was a Clovis teen, Jared Gardner.

This tragic event occurred just one week before getting baptized in front of his church congregation that he had been to his whole life, a couple of weeks before he would’ve received his graduation ring that Jared and his grandmother picked out together, and three weeks before his high school graduation ceremony.

Jared went missing on May 14th, along with 7 other friends. He and his group of friends were taking a break on some rocks in the San Joaquin gorge when a huge surge of water swept the whole group away. Jared helped one friend get to the shore after the first surge of water had come about. He tried to help another friend, but he was hit by a second surge. The friend that he had helped made it to higher ground and was safe, but Jared on the other hand didn’t find his way to higher ground. Jared was not officially found until May 18th.

Others in the past years have died by drowning in canals and others lakes and rivers. In one incident before, an older man aged 74 was attacked by dogs. He jumped into the canal to try and get the dogs off of him. Though that seemed to work, the current then carried him down the canal. Another incident involved a 54 year old man who had died before that, due to a dog attack, and he was also found in the dry canal. Although he didn’t die from drowning, there are still many dangers when walking and hiking around certain areas, especially the waterways.

 

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