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Man drowns in New Braunfels near Gruene River Bridge

Witnesses said the 28-year-old man from Mexico went under the water and did not resurface.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — A man died Saturday while swimming in the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, according to a news release from the city.

New Braunfels police and fire personnel were called to the banks of the Guadalupe River in the 1400 block of Gruene Road just after 6 p.m. Saturday for a report of a possible drowning.

A 28-year-old man from Mexico had been swimming in the river in the area of the Gruene River Bridge. Witnesses said he went under the water and did not resurface. 

One of those witnesses told Todd Reavis, who was at the river with his wife. Reavis and others searched an area near a green rope tied to a tree. He said they call for help when they found no one underneath the water.

"I just went to look back one more time. I could hear sirens coming closer. I just went to the bottom of the tree as close as I could get and that's when I discovered him," said Reavis.

He told first responders and they were able to locate the man. Medics began taking lifesaving measures. He was believed to be under the water for about 20 minutes.

Reavis said him and several witnesses began shouting positive affirmations in hopes the man would wake up. However, the man was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

"Maybe it's a warning to people who have never been here and they don't realize there's rocks, deep parts, shallow parts and currents," said Reavis.

An autopsy has been ordered, but officials said the drowning appears to be accidental, and foul play is not suspected.

Reavis felt if the man had been wearing a life jacket or floating in a river tube he might be here today. 

It's not required to wear a life jacket on the water, but Amy Niles strongly suggests it. She is the river operations manager for the city.

"Since you're in a natural river, there are currents that are unexpected so please wear a life jacket. It's not uncommon for the water to flip you out of your tube," said Niles.

The man's identity was not revealed pending notification of next of kin.

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