Man drowns in San Jacinto River

Attempting rescue of young swimmer at Banana Bend

HIGHLANDS– Only three weeks after Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia held a news conference on the shores of the San Jacinto River, warning of the dangers of drowning in these waters, and emphasizing boating safety and swimmers not overestimating their abilities to handle the currents and obstacles in the water, the river took another life.
On Thursday, June 16 at about 10 a.m. two teenagers were swimming in waters near Banana Bend Beach on Sandy Lane. A 17 year old and a 13 year old were swimming, when they began to have trouble in the water. A 45 year old man entered the river to help them. He pulled the younger boy to safety, but had trouble with the currents and was unable to pull the 17 year old out, nor himself. Another man helped extricate them, and CPR was performed.

Highlands EMS and Crosby EMS answered the emergency call, and then sent the 17 year old by LifeFlight to Hermann Memorial hospital, where he survived. However, the man who first entered the river was not revived, and he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Highlands EMS reported that two other persons almost drowned the week before at the same location, and since May of this year there have been a total of 3 drowning deaths in the Banana Bend area. Harris County Sheriff’s office said that on the river and Lake Houston, there have been a total of 7 drownings this year, involving swimmers and boaters.
Highlands Fire Department has kept busy this week with other types of emergency calls also, they report. On Friday they answered a call on the I-10 bridge westbound, at about 11:30 a.m. when a woman drove an SUV into the back of a stopped trailer and pickup, killing the driver of the stopped vehicle. There were 4 other persons in the struck vehicle, but they were not hurt.
HVFD has also been answering small brush fire calls, but to date no major wildfires have occured.