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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Man Dies Saving Life of a Young Child Who'd Been Swept Away by Water

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As the official first day of summer approaches, more and more people will be hitting the water to deal with the heat. Beaches, lakes, rivers and pools are about to experience their busiest season — but with that comes danger.

Sadly, one man lost his life to the power of a fast-flowing river on Tuesday as he was trying to help rescue a child.

The man, later identified as 62-year-old Arthur Caballero, was at the Kings River in Winton Park in Fresno County, California, fishing when he saw a child struggling in the water.

He dived in, joining some of the family who’d also jumped in to try to rescue the child.

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“People were trying to save other bystanders and bystanders were trying to save those people,” Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Michaels told KGPE.

“Ultimately, multiple people were in the water, several near-drownings.”

“Several would-be rescuers became victims themselves, started to be swept downstream,” he added to KMPH-TV.

The problem was compounded by the fact that the location was remote, and getting help, let alone calling for it, proved challenging.

“In this location, there’s not a way to dial 911,” Michaels said.

“The cellphones won’t work and a lot of people have become complacent to that and thinking that it’s always going to be easy to call for help and in this instance, it was delayed before they were able to reach firefighters to ask for help,” he told KGPE.

Someone ended up driving a mile to the fire station to get help, and as Michaels said, “from start to finish, we were almost approaching an hour.”

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While the other family members were able to get out of the river, it took 40 minutes and a helicopter to locate Caballero’s body half a mile downriver.

Authorities are using this tragic incident as a reminder for people who frequent the area.

“One slip or one false step and you can be in water that’s producing several hundred pounds of force against your body,” Michaels said.

“Even for our firefighters who have wet suits and life jackets, it’s still a very dangerous situation.”

While it’s incredibly sad that Caballero lost his life, he died a hero for stepping up to help save a child.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking