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Bodies of Missing Father, Daughter Found in River

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A Father’s Day outing turned tragic when a 38-year-old man and his 14-year-old daughter drowned in the San Jacinto River near the Xtreme Off Road Park and Beach in Crosby, Texas. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, 2024 when the teenage girl got into trouble in the water, and her father attempted to rescue her, but both drowned.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez reported that emergency responders were called to the scene after witnesses noticed the pair had not resurfaced. A dive team recovered the girl’s body late Sunday night, and the father’s body was found the following morning in about 15 feet of water.

“It’s a heartbreaking situation,” said Gonzalez. “Our thoughts are with the family during this incredibly difficult time.”

The incident occurred in an area known for its unpredictable water depths and strong currents. Lieutenant David Jasper of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Marine & Dive Unit explained, “The depth can drop from shallow to about 24 feet deep within 20 feet of the shore. No lifeguards are on duty in this area, which makes it even more dangerous.”

This incident is not isolated at the Xtreme Off Road Park and Beach. In the past year, the park has seen multiple drownings. In 2023, a six-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl drowned in the same area, and a 28-year-old man drowned while trying to rescue a woman in June 2023. Jasper noted that the HCSO dive team responded to six drownings at the park last year and was deployed more than 30 times for water rescue incidents.

The Crosby Volunteer Fire Department and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department assisted in Sunday night’s search and rescue efforts. The departments emphasized the importance of water safety and caution when swimming in open water. “Children should always be supervised when swimming,” said Jasper. “There is always a bigger risk of drowning in open water due to unseen hazards like currents, obstacles, and marine life.”

Local resident Gerardo Ledezma, who works at a nearby marina and rents out jet skis, shared his thoughts on the dangers of the river. “People aren’t mindful of how the water is,” Ledezma said. “They just think they can go in and don’t even know what will happen after that.” He stressed the importance of wearing life jackets and being aware of the river’s unpredictable conditions.

The Xtreme Off Road Park and Beach, which boasts over a mile and a half of San Jacinto River frontage and beach, has yet to comment on the incident. The park’s website highlights the recreational opportunities available but does not address the safety concerns that have led to multiple tragedies.

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