The body of a 51-year-old man was recovered at Woodward Reservoir Regional Park within an hour of the first reports of a swimmer in distress.
“About 1:44, we received several 911 calls of a person drowning near Area BB (on the east side) at Woodward Reservoir,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Anthony Bejaran. “When we arrived, along with Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, we started searching the general area. One of the firefighters checking the shoreline, about 100 feet from shore, discovered the body” at about 2:35.
The man, whose name was not released pending positive identification, was not wearing a life jacket, Bejaran said.
The reservoir water level remains high, he said, and likely will through summer because of continuing snowmelt. Bejaran was told by reservoir deputies that the area in which the man drowned changes from waist-deep to 6 or 8 feet deep within a short distance. The bottom of the reservoir is much like the rolling hills around it.
In the triple-digit temperatures the Northern San Joaquin Valley is experiencing this week, Woodward north of Oakdale and Modesto Reservoir east of Waterford are popular draws for people looking to beat the heat.
Stanislaus Consolidated operates a free jacket loan program 24/7 at all its stations. Learn more at www.scfpd.net.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327