Day Out Turns Deadly: Mendota Man Drowns In San Joaquin Valley River

A 28-year-old Mendota man who was looking to escape the triple-digit heat drowned in the San Joaquin Valley River Sunday afternoon.

It was supposed to be just an exciting summer day with friends at the river, just hanging out and escaping the heat. It was all fun until their sounds of laughter turned to cries for help.

Friends and family say they saw the 28-year-old walking in the river until he disappeared from their sight.

One friend says he heard a scream and ran toward him, but by the time he got there, the man had vanished.

The river is full of dips; it goes from shallow water to what can seem like a deep, bottomless hole, the Fresno County Sheriff's Department said.

Friends of the 28-year-old man say that he couldn't swim.

Search and rescue teams arrived at the river around 4 p.m.

For hours, divers searched every corner of the river bank, but came up empty.

Then several hours later they located the man's body.