3 men missing in California after jumping into water to help 8-year-old, officials say

·2 min read
Rio Vista Fire Department via Facebook

California authorities are leading a recovery mission for three men who jumped in the water to save a child and never resurfaced.

The three men — Edwin Rivas, Edwin Perez and Danilo Solorzano — and two others jumped into the water Sunday near the Three Mile Slough Bridge to assist an 8-year-old child, who began struggling in the water while the group was fishing, NBC affiliate KCRA of Sacramento reported.

The two other men made it back to shore and pulled the child to safety, the station reported, adding that the child did not require medical attention.

“This happened so fast. Three people, my friends … and we used to come here all the time,” Juan Cabrera, one of the two men, told KCRA.

The men and the child were part of a group camping overnight in Brannan Island State Recreation Area, family members at the scene said.

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The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the Coast Guard, Rio Vista Fire and California State Parks responded.

As of Sunday night, the search had shifted into a recovery mission, KCRA reported.

“Deputies searched the waterways with negative results,” said Sgt. Rod Grassman, a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. “After exhausting all search efforts, deputies shifted their focus to a recovery.”

A California State Parks official told KCRA that strong currents throughout the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta and weather conditions were to blame.

“This is an unguarded swim beach, so we do not have lifeguards on duty. It’s mainly a fishing access off of an unregulated trail in the state park. … This is ... unguarded water, so the water was moving at the time,” Capt. Paul Wissler told KCRA.

The website for Brannan Island notes that it offers "many opportunities for recreation, including boating and swimming."

Jorge Moreno, an information officer for California State Parks, told NBC News that the department recommends that people wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets, supervise children and avoid entering the water if it is too cold when they are recreating in its parks.