MCSO: Man drowns while tubing on the Salt River

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A man went under water while trying to get a tube that was floating away, MCSO said. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) A man went under water while trying to get a tube that was floating away, MCSO said. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A tubing trip down the Salt River north of Mesa turned tragic when a man drowned on Sunday.

The man in his 30s was tubing with friends when he broke away from the group and tried to retrieve a tube that had floated away near the Blue Point Bridge around 3:30 p.m., said the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

He got exhausted and went under.

“We noticed a group of kids yelling for help,” said Bernie Acevedo, who was at the river with his family.

“It was pretty chaotic because everyone was saying call 911,” said David Chavez.

It's unclear how long he was underwater but his friends eventually found him and started CPR, MCSO said.

“It was hard to see because of course, you want to help someone but you don’t know how to go across or how to help them,” said Chavez.

“When I saw his body I was just in shock you know, I was like, act like it’s a family member,” said Acevedo.

Emergency crews arrived on the scene and the man was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, deputies said.

One of the witnesses says he was on one side of the river when he heard those cries for help that’s when he jumped in, swam across to the other side of the river to try and help the man in need.

“I think my instinct just kicked in, you know. I was like, if it was my kid, I’d want to help out so we got him out of the water,” said Acevedo. 

MCSO said it's unclear how good he was at swimming or if he had any medical conditions.

The victim has not been identified.

An investigation is underway.

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