Family in disbelief: Jockey, 2nd person to drown in Lake Del Valle, in less than a week

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After hours of searching, divers recovered a body Wednesday at Lake Del Valle near Livermore believed to be that of Shawn Spikes. Spikes, a professional horse jockey, had fallen from a boat late on Tuesday. 

“Bright young man. Lived his dreams basically from a pup, young. Six or seven- years-old,” his aunt Yolanda Walker said. “Becoming a jockey as a professional. He accomplished that.” 

Spikes, 23, had been on a rented boat in unincorporated Alameda County with some fellow jockeys when he fell overboard. A GoFundMe has been created for Sikes.

Divers with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team and police and fire crews with the East Bay Regional Park District were called in at 6 p.m. Tuesday to look for the man, who went missing near Swallow Bay, according to EBPD spokesman Dave Mason. 

Rescuers searched for hours into the night. Ultimately, the body was found in about 65 feet of water, not far from where Spikes fell in. 

"We were out there last night until just after midnight, then we fired back up again at six in the morning," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said Wednesday.

Spikes’ body was discovered late Wednesday morning, Mason said. 

The family still has questions about how this could have happened. 

“Honestly we don’t know. We really don’t know. There’s some things that aren’t adding up with the situation,” Walker said. 

Spikes’ family said he had only just begun to tap into his potential, both as a jockey and as a young man.

They still can't believe he's gone.

This is the second drowning death at Lake Del Valle in a matter of days. While life jackets are handed out with each boat rental here, neither victim was wearing one. 

The other victim, who drowned Saturday, is 31-year-old Los Gatos resident Florencio Rodriguez Pureco, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau. 

Mason said Pureco also rented a boat with a group of friends or family and somehow fell overboard. Pureco's body was found on Sunday.

The men drowned during the Bay Area's first heat wave, when temperatures spiked into the 100s in the hottest areas and people flocked to beaches and lakes seeking relief. 

Mason said it's important for people to take water safety precautions when swimming or boating or engaging in other recreational activities on or around the region's waterways. 

People should wear life vests and swim in lifeguard protected areas, Mason said.

Bay City News reporter Kiley Russell contributed to this report.