Canyon Lake drowning

A New Braunfels Fire Department vehicle sits at Canyon Lake Boat Ramp No. 7 as crews search for a 25-year-old man who first responders believed drowned over the weekend on Monday, July 6, 2020. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

First responders searching Canyon Lake on Thursday recovered the body of 25-year-old man who was presumed drowned he was last seen diving off a boat Saturday afternoon.

“At approximately 5 p.m., a combined effort of the Houston Police Department and Harris County Dive Team, Canyon Lake Fire and EMS, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens were able to locate and recover the body of Luis Rodriguez, said Jennifer Smith, Comal County Sheriff’s Office public information officer.

Rodriguez, a 25-year-old Mexican national residing in the area on a work visa, was boating with friends when he disappeared around 4 p.m. Saturday. Smith said his remains were found almost exactly where he was last seen, near Party Cove and Boat Ramp No. 7 on the lake’s west end. 


Efforts to find Rodriguez included New Braunfels Fire Department divers, CCSO deputies and Canyon Lake Fire and EMS’s sonar-equipped Marine 53. All scoured water depths of up to 90 feet during daily searches that lasted from morning until dusk since Saturday.

CCSO Criminal Investigations Sgt. Brian Morgan said TPWD game wardens in charge of the investigation then requested assistance from Houston.

“The Houston Police Department has a full-time dive team from Harris County, and they came in with specialized equipment on Thursday,” he said. “They went out on the lake in TPWD boats with sonar with a 360-degree view of the bottom of the lake from 300 feet out.”

Morgan said the boats also had an underwater drone and scoured three areas, with the last turning up a body.

“He was located in about 91 feet of water,” Morgan said, adding divers then plunged into waters close to 50 degrees to retrieve Rodriguez, who was found approximately 20 feet from where he was last seen Saturday.

“He was found exactly where witnesses said he dived off the boat,” Morgan said.

Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders pronounced Rodriguez dead at 5:50 p.m. She did not order an autopsy and the man’s next of kin was notified, he added.

Rodriguez is the area’s fourth water-related death this year – and second at the lake since May 18, when Jhonatan Zavaleta, 25, of Houston, drowned while swimming in the lake near Comal Park. 

On June 7, Chad Aaron Maples, 40, of Arlington died while swimming in the Guadalupe River near Cypress Bend Park in the 500 block of South Peace Avenue in New Braunfels. On May 30, Devon Walton, 22, of Houston, died while tubing with friends on the Comal River.

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