RIO VISTA, Calif. — A San Francisco man died while trying to save his 5-year-old daughter from drowning over the weekend.
KTVU reports Roni Avila Alvarado, 40, drowned on Sunday after the kayak he and his daughters were in flipped over. Investigators say neither was wearing a life jacket.
The Alvarado family was having a picnic at Brannan Island State Park when Alvarado took the 5-year-old on a kayak ride.
“There were these boats going really fast and they started to make waves, and when one of the waves hit the side of the kayak, it flipped over and they fell,” 11-year-old Maria, Alvarado’s other daughter who witnessed the incident from shore, told KGO-TV.
Alvarado and the girl went under water initially, but Alvarado was able to hold his daughter above water until she could be picked up by a good Samaritan on a jet ski.
“My dad quickly got my sister and held her up. He really tried to get her safe first and he went like that, and his head was in the water and he couldn’t breathe, but he made sure she was safe,” Maria Alvarado said.
Alvarado went under again and did not resurface.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.