Oakland father, husband drowns in Modesto Reservoir

An Oakland family is mourning the loss of a father and husband after he drowned in the Modesto Reservoir.

Family members said Emerson Garcia Arrendondo was swimming in the reservoir when he struggled to stay afloat and yelled for help.

Authorities received the call for help a few minutes before 4:30 p.m. about the drowning. By the time they arrived, Arrendondo had been underwater and unseen for over 10 minutes.

It was around 7 p.m. when the 37-year-old's body was found by the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office dive team. 

"We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim during this time," the sheriff's office said.

A fundraiser created by his family is raising funds to return his body to Guatemala City, where he was born.

Sheriff authorities remind swimmers of some basic water tips:

  • Wear a life jacket; they are freely provided by the county's parks and rec department
  • Know your limits when entering bodies of water
  • Mind your alcohol intake
  • Always swim with someone who can help or reach out to others in an emergency

He leaves behind a wife and three children.

This story was reported out of Oakland, Calif.