A man who was pulled out of the American River after not resurfacing Sunday evening near Discovery Park in Sacramento has since died, fire officials confirmed Monday.
The man, who appeared to be in his 30s, walked into the river shortly before 6:30 p.m. and went underwater and did not resurface, said Capt. Keith Wade, a spokesman for the Sacramento Fire Department.
Rescue crews found the man in the water, brought him to shore, initiated medical treatment and took him by ambulance to a hospital. Witness accounts indicated he was underwater for more than 15 minutes. Wade said on Monday evening the man had died.
Wade said witnesses told authorities the man had been out in the area drinking alcohol all day before walking into the river without wearing a life jacket to a “ledge” area where there is a dramatic drop in depth.
Wade said it was unclear whether intoxication played a factor in the incident or his inability to swim. He said witness accounts also indicated the man had been in an area underneath the Interstate 5 overpass before going into the river. He could’ve been a homeless man, Wade said, but it was not certain.
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office will release the name of the man once he’s been identified and his family has been notified.
It was the second reported death after a water rescue in the American River during the weekend. A teen who immigrated to the Sacramento area with his family from Afghanistan died at a hospital after he was pulled from the American River in Carmichael on Saturday.
The National Weather Service expects high temperatures to to reach triple digits Tuesday and Wednesday in the Sacramento area. As temperatures soar, public officials urge residents to be safe when swimming in the American and Sacramento rivers and recommend wearing life jackets.