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Death on the Guadalupe River: A Tragic Texas Drowning

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Summer fun on the Guadalupe River turned tragic for one man when he became the second person to drown on the river since April. On Thursday, July 11, 2019, Roberto Chavez Celis drowned in the Guadalupe. Divers for the New Braunfels Fire Department retrieved the man’s body after he was last reportedly seen swimming at the eastern side of Rockin’ R River Rides campground. Celis, from San Antonio, Texas, was only 29 years old.

Comal County emergency teams arrived at the river at approximately 2:00 p.m. that afternoon after being dispatched on a report of a possible drowning. According to Jason Rush, Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Battalion Chief, NBFD divers and Sheriff’s deputies were already searching for the drowned man when the last members of the emergency team arrived on scene.

Death on the Guadalupe River: A Tragic Texas Drowning

Photo: Pixabay

The drowned man was discovered underwater two and a half hours later. Celis was found in water 15 to 20 feet in depth. According to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, campers said that Celis was camping with a family which consisted of another man, a woman, and three young kids.

Though the investigation is ongoing, there were reportedly no signs of foul play, and it appears to be an accidental drowning. Celis is the second man to have lost his life on the river in the past 90 days. Eddie Torres, a 38-year-old man who also hailed from San Antonio, was found dead in the water on April 25, 2019.

Such drownings are a tragic reminder to stay safe while enjoying the water on Texas rivers this summer. Parents should keep a close eye on children while they’re playing around any body of water, whether it’s a river or a small backyard pool, and adults should be mindful of potential dangers themselves. All it takes is one simple mistake to turn a fun day on the water into a tragedy.