Alhambra man dies trying to rescue daughter from Merced River

An Alhambra man died last week after he dove into the Merced River in Mariposa County to rescue his 14-year-old daughter, authorities said.
Alfredo Damas, 45, was pronounced dead Friday afternoon after he was pulled from the water in the Briceburg area, Mariposa County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. His daughter was rescued.
The incident began just before 4:15 p.m. when authorities received a report that a 14-year-old girl was floating down the Merced River, apparently drowning, officials said.
“Witnesses report that the girl’s father, (Damas), entered the river to rescue her,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “Damas then also became distressed.”
Onlookers managed to reach the teenage girl and pull her to safety, the statement said. “Mr. Damas slipped under (the water) and out of sight.”
Witnesses reported the incident to a nearby Bureau of Land Management ranger, who began searching for Damas and soon found him submerged beneath about six feet of water, authorities said.
Rescuers at the scene performed CPR and attempted to revive Damas with no success, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Autopsy results were not available Wednesday, however investigators described the death as an apparent drowning.

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