ESCALON — A 25-year-old Stockton man on an outing with his family drowned in the Stanislaus River north of Modesto on Sunday, authorities said.
Juan Antonio Rodriguez had gone with his wife, brother-in-law and several small children to McHenry Recreation Area in Escalon to swim, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department said. The incident was reported at 6:20 p.m.
Rodriguez went out into the deep area of the river, planning to float down to where his family was. But Rodriguez, who wasn’t a strong swimmer, got taken by the current. He started to struggle and went underwater, the Sheriff’s Department said in a report.
After several minutes, witnesses and bystanders managed to pull Rodriguez out of the water. They had him on the shore when deputies arrived.
Rodriguez was unresponsive and was taken to a Modesto hospital, where he was declared dead.
Though the drought conditions of recent years have reduced the amount and speed of water in area rivers, there is enough to remain dangerous for those who don’t know how to swim or get caught in a current. And the water is cold. According to the state Department of Water Resources, water in the Stanislaus River measured about 64 degrees at the time of the incident.