Man drowns in Salt River as friends try to help

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PHOENIX – A Friday afternoon swim ended in tragedy after a couple of men watch their friend slip under the water and drown right before their eyes.

The drowning took place at about 2 p.m. Friday in a pond in the bed of the Salt River near 75th Avenue and Southern.

The water where this drowning happened is in the middle of some rugged terrain. There are no roads and rescue crews had to use off-road vehicles to get to the scene.

The accident happened in a large pond on or near private property belonging to a nearby gravel pit.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, three guys were swimming when a 40-year-old man swam out about 100 feet from the shore.

His friends said he began to cramp up and went underwater. The other two friends tried to save him. They spent about 15 to 30 minutes trying to find the man and pull him up for air. They eventually gave up and called 911.

Once on scene, Phoenix firefighters and Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies realized it had become a body recovery effort.

The swift water rescue team found the man's body using long poles with hooks on the end.

Investigators are now looking into whether or not alcohol played a factor in the drowning.