SAN ANGELO, TX – A Texas Parks and Wildlife's Spokesperson confirmed that the drowning victim Sunday spent his last moments gripping to an ice chest with his young daughter.
As previously reported, on Mar. 27 at around 5 p.m., game wardens with the Texas Department of Public Safety, along with Deputies with the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to Twin Buttes for the report of a drowning victim. For more see: Officials Investigating Possible Drowning at Twin Buttes Sunday
A sergeant Game Warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife has now released more information on the drowning. The game warden detailed that five passengers were on a 23 foot sail craft fishing near the dam.
The Concho Valley was under a Red Flag Warning because of high winds, excessive heat and dry conditions. The high winds were causing rough waters on the lake at the time Sunday.
At some point the vessel began taking on water. The passengers discovered that the bilge pump was not working and made the decision to move the boat near the cage.
Once they made it to the cage, the crew attempted to make it to the dam. During this move the vessel became swamped with water and ultimately sunk.
Two of the passengers were able to swim to the dam and get to safety. The other three fought for their lives in the water. One adult was left treading water until a nearby boat came and saved him.
The other two passengers, Dios Manny Martinez, 47, and his young daughter, held onto a cooler until help arrived. Unfortunately the rescuers were only able to get the child from the cooler.
Martinez went under the water near the cage and has still not been located. Game wardens are currently searching via SONAR and by dragging the bed of the reservoir.
TPWD does have a general idea of where Martinez's body is but has not located it at this time.
It was not disclosed at this time whether or not the passengers were wearing life vests or had any safety flotation devices.