A California man died on Sunday after he jumped into a canal to save his 9-year-old son from drowning, police said.
The 31-year-old father, who is unnamed, his son was riding on his bike on a path near the canal in Hesperia, Calif, when the boy lost control of his bike and fell inside the water, the Los Angeles Times reported. The father dived in and was able to get his son out of the water, but he was swept away and not found until two hours later.
Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, said the walls of the canal are “greasy.”
“It’s not like if you fell in you could just climb back out,” Bachman said. “It had a very tragic ending, and if you’re not a strong swimmer, then you really don’t have a chance in that water.”
The victim’s family members said they heard him call for help before he was swept away in the current.
“It’s very cold, it moves very fast and, again, it’s hard to find anything to grasp onto,” Bachman said.