YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office said one man died after he drowned in the Colorado River Monday. YCSO said deputies responded at approximately 3:30 p.m., to Gateway Park in reference to a drowning.
Upon arrival, deputies were advised that the man, identified as 43-year-old Rene Velasquez, of Yuma, had been swimming with his family at Gateway Park. The victim went swimming just east of the Ocean to Ocean Bridge when he began to struggle.
The victim’s wife saw him struggling and yelled for help. The victim went underwater for an unknown amount of time. Three subjects in the area were able to pull the victim out of the water and immediately began performing CPR. The victim was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
During the investigation of this case, it was learned that there is a “whirlpool” in the river located east of the Gateway Park under the railroad trestle. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office is currently working with other agencies to find a way to address the danger of this “whirlpool”.
At this time, we would like to remind the public to please be cautious with the changing conditions of all bodies of water in Yuma County.