Family of drowning victim shares tragedy in hopes of saving lives of others

26 children have drowned in Texas this year so far

San Antonio – Mitchel Aranda shares a photo of his dad and the rest of the family on the Comal River, just minutes before Albert Aranda was pulled by a whirlpool and drowned.

“It just happens that suddenly in the blink of an eye, he was he was there and then he was gone,” Aranda explains.

Aranda’s father drowned in the blink of an eye on the weekend of July 4, 2021.

Even though the 62-year-old could swim very well, the family now regrets not wearing life jackets.

“But it just never, it never crossed my mind because it’s just such a relaxing, enjoyable time at the Comal River,” he said.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports 82 people drowned last year in Texas public waters compared to 70 the previous year.

And children are the most vulnerable. The Texas Family and Protective Services reports that 26 children have drowned this year so far.

“Drowning is about the second leading cause of death for children under five,” said Pediatrician Megan O’Brien of the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

O’Brien said children always need to be watched closely around water.

“When children do drown, it’s a silent drowning,” she said. “They’re not going to splash, they’re not going to make noise. No one’s going to notice they’ve gone under the water.”

Aranda hopes others can learn from his family’s tragedy.

“You want to have fun. And that’s the main point of going to the lake or going out to the water. But your number one concern needs to be safety,” Aranda said.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Alex Trevino is a video editor at KSAT who works on the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.