San Jacinto River claims summer’s second life

HIGHLANDS — The dangers of the San Jacinto River has become apparent with the loss of two lives in as many weeks.

On June 5 Edgar Garay was celebrating graduation early with four friends at a beach party on the river. Around 1 p.m. witnesses say that Garay went under the water and never came up. An initial search was unsuccessful. Search and rescue crews later located the body around 3:30 p.m.

Garay, who was ranked 11th in his class at Stephen F. Austin High School, was recognized during commencement exercises on June 6.

The river claimed another life on Memorial Day.

Four friends had entered the river from the Magnolia Gardens side on May 25. The men told authorities that around 7 p.m. they decided to leave the river, but one of the group was missing.

The missing man was soon located and despite immediate attempts at C.P.R., he was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies who patrol the river regularly say that it is very deceptive. In addition to areas where the depth can go from a few feet to 10 or more feet instantly, the river offers zero-visibility and water temperatures that can drop 20 degrees below surface temperatures within just a couple of feet.

The San Jacinto River is also known to house debris, both natural and man-made such as rebar and even a few cars, which adds to the danger.