A 30-year-old off-duty deputy with the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Office of the Sheriff died Thursday trying to save someone from drowning in Lake Tahoe, reports KOLO-TV.
South Lake Tahoe police say the investigation indicates that on August 13, 2015, shortly before 3PM, medics were called to South Lake Tahoe on a report of someone having drowned and who was being taken to the shore. Medics began CPR on Deputy Carlos Francies, who was not breathing. He was pronounced dead after being taken to Barton Memorial Hospital. Deputy Francies was visiting South Lake Tahoe with family and friends.
Police say Deputy Francies and his girlfriend, his sister, and a male friend were using paddles and kayaks near the beach. They were more than 100 yards off shore in strong wind in water about 15 feet deep.
Deputy Francies saw his sister fall from her kayak, and their friend near her jumped off his own kayak to help. While doing so, the friend's own kayak drifted off. After helping Francies' sister back aboard her kayak, the man began swimming to retrieve his own kayak. It appeared to Francies from a distance that his friend was in distress.
Francies responded to help his friend, who he believed may be near drowning. He jumped into the water and began swimming the distance toward his friend, but began to falter and fall into distress himself. His girlfriend could see him begin to sink and was able to get to him with a life vest before he sank completely, but it appeared he had gone unconscious.
During the event, Francies' friend made it safely back to his kayak.
Francies is survived by three siblings, two of whom also work in law enforcement, according to KGO-TV.