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18 yr. old Swimmer drowns in San Jacinto River

Gilberto Martinez drowned while swimming in the San Jacinto River last week.

HOUSTON – The body of a teen swimmer was found in the San Jacinto River after he went missing Wednesday morning, June 10, 2020, prompting search and rescue efforts from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Houston Police Dive Team.

Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit searched the river near the intersection of Guinn Avenue and Riverside Street in the Magnolia Gardens Park area.

Relatives who took the teen to the river have identified him as Gilberto Martinez, 18, from El Salvador.

Mario Recinos, the teen’s uncle, said Martinez tried swimming to the other bank but struggled 3/4 of the way. Recinos said his nephew started yelling for help around 10 a.m., but the currents were too strong for anyone to get near the teen. Recinos said he even borrowed a stranger’s kayak but was unsuccessful.

“They let me use one of the kayaks and I went across to the other end of the river and started looking for him and I looked everywhere but I couldn’t see I couldn’t find him,” Recinos said.

At 3:15 p.m., officials confirmed they had recovered the body of the 18- year-old swimmer. Martinez had been staying with relatives in Cypress for 10 months.