The risk of danger near the San Jacinto river in Houston, Texas, has been prevalent since Hurricane Harvey.
As KPRC reports, the hurricane floods last year carved a 10-foot-deep hole on the bottom of the river. On Sunday afternoon a family wading water near the shoreline of river lost their daughter in the current.
According to authorities, two girls jumped into the river to rescue a 12-year-old’s mother, who was having trouble swimming. Bessy Lozano witnessed the incident and said:
“They were all swimming and all of a sudden the mom started to drown, so she jumped in to help her.”
Capt. Don Stanton of the Harris County Sheriff’s Marine Unit told KTRK that a boater jumped into the water to save the girl but couldn’t find her. Stanton said:
“The 12-year-old dropped into a hole, disappeared and never came up. A guy went down and held his breath but couldn’t find the bottom of the hole.”
The man managed to rescue one of the girls, but the other girl drowned. Her mother, on the other hand, managed to get to safety.
The 12-year-old’s body was recovered from the river Sunday evening.
According to to Respect the Water, when one finds themselves in a similar situation, it’s important to not breathe in water and not try to fight it. Instead, float until you can control your breathing.
The UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution said it’s important to “fight your instincts, not the water to help stay alive.”
And Stanton said the incident is a reminder to swimmers to wear a life jacket or use a personal flotation device when swimming in deep water.
He pointed out: “I’ve never seen a drowning victim who was wearing one.”