MORGAN HILL, Calif. (Azenith Smith/KTVU) - Sheriff's deputies recovered the body on Sunday evening of a father who saved his young son from drowning only to get pulled underneath. It happened at a series of ponds at the end of Ogier Avenue in unincorporated Morgan Hill.
“You have this father who gave up his life for his own son and as noble as an endeavor as that was, it's a complete tragedy for that family,” said Sgt. Rich Glennon of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff's office said around 2 p.m., a family of four adults and eight children were headed out to Ogier Pond behind the Parkway Lakes RV Park.
“I saw a variety of the adults and some kids they were bringing their blankets. They looked like they were going to swimming,” said Desiree Marx of Morgan Hill. “They looked like they were going to have a good time.”
The sheriff’s office said one of the children went too far into the water. The father went after his child said to be four or five years old. He got him to safety but then went under himself. He was last seen 15 to 20 feet off shore.
"It’s real sad,” said James Krepps of Morgan Hill. “I wouldn't want to wish that on anybody but I would never think it would be that dangerous out there.”
Divers from the sheriff’s office used underwater sonar equipment and searched for the man.
Just after 6:30 p.m., they found his body 15 feet underwater, 40 yards off shore. They first recovered some of his clothes.
“If he was going underwater, said Sgt. Glennon. “He was probably trying to shed some clothing just to reduce some pull from the water.”
The family was swimming in what looks like a creek that enters into a larger body of water. A current drops off quick and deep there.
The sheriff's office said the man was found not wearing a life vest and it's unclear if anyone was wearing proper safety equipment. There's no public access to the pond, no lifeguard, and no park ranger..
“You want to keep an eye on your children anytime if they are in any kind of water,” said Sgt. Glennon. “In this particular instance it appeared to be quite calm water and it got deep unexpectedly.”
There’s a gate that prevents cars from coming into the ponds area. Neighbors said the family lives at a nearby ranch and likely walked in. The sheriff's office said the man who died was in his 30's. They are not releasing his identity at this time.