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Location: Eel River
On 06-30-2013, approximately 1:00 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible drowning in the Eel River near the Fortuna Riverwalk Lodge, 1800 Riverwalk Drive, Fortuna. Deputies and medical personnel were dispatched to the scene. When deputies arrived on scene medical personnel from Fortuna Fire Department and Fortuna Ambulance were performing C.P.R. on the 23 year old male victim.
Deputies learned the victim was a member of the California Conservation Corps. The victim and his friends decided to swim across the Eel River and back. When they were swimming across the river, the victim suddenly had problems swimming and yelled out to his friends he could not make the swim. An off duty San Bernardino County Sheriffs Deputy was attending a wedding at the Riverwalk Lodge and saw the man in distress. The deputy jumped into the water after seeing the victim go under water and pulled the victim to the surface. The victim’s friends had made it back to the victim at this point and assisted the deputy with pulling their friend to shore, where the deputy and friends performed C.P.R. until medical personnel arrived to relieve them. The victim was pronounced deceased at Redwood Memorial Hospital. The Humboldt County Coroners Office was notified and responded to the hospital. The name of the deceased is being withheld until next of kin is notified by the Coroners Office.
Mike Downey Sheriff