Location: Tule Drive and Avenue 149, Poplar

Incident Date: 02/05/2016

Incident Time: 1516 hours

Case Number: 16-01556

Victim: Gustavo Andrade, 8

City: Poplar

Posted by: Media Relations

On Feb. 5, 2016 at 1516 hours, Deputies were called to the scene of a near drowning along a canal bank in the area of Tule Drive and Avenue 149 in Poplar. An 8-year-old boy was walking along the canal with his mother and other family members when the boy tried to retrieve a soccer ball that was floating on the surface of an active canal.

He jumped into the water near a release gate that was open and was pulled under the surface by the force of the water flow through the release gate.

When deputies arrived, they found the child in the water being held by his mother. He had no signs of life. Deputies immediately began CPR and continued to do so until EMS arrived and took over rendering aid.

Upon arrival to Sierra View District Hospital, medical officials were able to locate a pulse and the child was flown to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera County. 

According to Valley Children’s Hospital, the boy passed away Sunday night (Feb. 7) as a result of the drowning.

The victim’s name was Gustavo Andrade and he was 8 years old.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that irrigation canals are very dangerous. Water flows in irrigation canals at a very fast rate with currents that will sweep you away. Although the water doesn’t look like it is moving very fast, 3 feet of water flowing at only 4 miles per hour can wash people off their feet. The faster the water is flowing, the more dangerous it can be. 

Canals are designed to move water efficiently and they are very difficult to climb out of. Water in canals is cold, fast, powerful and relentless. Be Safe and never enter canals for swimming or any other activity.