A fun afternoon on the San Marcos River turned tragic for a young New Braunfels man on Saturday. 

Michael Hughes, 19, was jumping and doing flips into the water shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday when he hit his head, went down and failed to come back up, said Kristi Wyatt, San Marcos director of communications and intergovernmental relations.

“Witnesses say Michael Hughes was performing back flips and jumping into the water approximately 12 feet from the millrace dam at Stokes Park,” she said in a written statement released about 4:45 p.m. Monday. “After one of the flips, he hit his head, went under water and did not surface.”

Ken Bell, city marshal for San Marcos, said after Hughes went under, he couldn’t immediately be found. Emergency crews responded within three minutes and they and citizens continued to search, Bell said.

“We put two people in the water,” he said. “About 30 seconds after that one of the citizens found him. We got him out and started CPR.”

Bell said he had only a few details but that he believed Hughes was at the river with a friend when the tragedy occurred. The people that helped try to find the teen were in separate parties.

Park Rangers pulled Hughes from the water, Wyatt said. She said the 19-year-old was rushed to Central Texas Medical Center where he died shortly after arrival.

Wyatt said Hughes’ body was transported to Central Texas Autopsy where an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

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