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Drowning At New Melones

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Calaveras County, CA – A tragic drowning at New Melones Lake yesterday afternoon involving two brothers.

After inquiries from Clarke Broadcasting, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Greg Stark confirmed via email the incident happened around 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Sgt. Stark detailed that dispatch received a report of a drowning victim near the dam at the lake.

Members of the sheriff’s Marine Safety division hit the water and began searching for possible victims. Witnesses reported that a 33-year-old man from Georgia jumped from a boat into the water and then suddenly began having difficulty swimming. His 35-year-old brother then dove in to try and save him.

Sgt. Stark relayed that at the same time somebody on the vessel threw the younger brother a life preserver and he was able to swim back to the boat and those onboard pulled him to safety. Unfortunately, the other brother also started to have problems swimming and went under the water and never resurfaced.

The victim’s body has not yet been recovered and crews are back on the water today searching for the deceased. Sgt. Stark also disclosed, “The circumstances regarding what caused him to drown are still under investigation. We won’t know more until we locate him.” The man’s name is not being released at this time. Stark added that neither brother was wearing a life jacket, stating, “This is an excellent reminder to wear a floatation device at all times around the lake.”

Assisting in yesterday’s search yesterday were the Calaveras County Sheriff Dive Team, Tuolumne County Marine Safety Division, Rangers from the Bureau of Reclamation, Calaveras Search and Rescue, and a k-9 specially trained to search for drowning victims in water from the Wilderness Finders WOOF Search Dog Team, as pictured in the image box.

  • Volunteer Search and Rescue Vessel specifically designed to aid the k-9 in searching for the victim.
  • Calaveras County Sheriff’s office Marine Safety division boat at the scene of the drowning