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Madera boy, 4, drowns

Authorities have released the identity of a 4-year-old Madera boy who drowned in a Fresno County park.

Seth Reyes was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, according to Fresno County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Tony Botti.

“At about 7:30, deputies responded to Skaggs Bridge Park over reports of a missing boy. His family members told us that they last saw him near the water. About 15 people started searching the area for him,” Botti said. “Ambulance personnel found him after he had been missing for about 30 minutes, and began CPR on him. A helicopter was brought in, and they flew him to Valley Children’s Hospital.”

Skaggs Bridge Park is a popular summer recreation area in Kerman on the San Joaquin River between the borders of Fresno and Madera counties. Fresno County deputies, Botti said, usually respond to at least one drowning in the park every year.

Reyes’ death was the result of him lacking proper equipment before going into the water. “The big thing is he did not know how to swim, and he was not wearing a life jacket,” Botti said.

Reyes, however, was not the only person to drown in Fresno and Madera counties that day. Fresno County Coroner’s Office identified another victim as Raul Jimenez, 45, of Santa Ana. He died at St. Agnes Hospital in Fresno at 2:30 p.m. after drowning at Millerton Lake.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office urges a life jacket for anyone going into the water; those who are not strong swimmers should always remain close to shore. Under any circumstances, no alcohol should be consumed while swimming.

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