HOUSTON –A family fishing trip turned deadly Sunday after a father, his son and young niece drowned in Sims Bayou. The man tried desperately to save the kids after they got caught in a strong current, officials said.
“The current of the water is too strong, ain’t no way you can survive in that,” said one witness at the scene.
According to the Houston Fire Department, a family was fishing at 11:15 a.m. with three children, ages 5 to 12, playing in the shallow part of the bayou near the 3100 block of Brisbane. One of the boys slipped into the deeper part of the water and began to struggle.
His brother then tried to rescue him, but began to struggle as well, officials said. The boys’ father, 31-year-old Laurencio Guidel, tried to rescue them both, but ended up going under himself.
“It’s very marshy. So you can start sinking when you’re at one height, and start sinking and get to another. And it’s very difficult to pull yourself out,” said Capt. R. Lozano, HFD.
While the man was trying to rescue the boys, his 5-year-old niece went under, too.
People from a nearby church who heard the emergency vehicles responding gathered at the water’s edge.
“Those kids were drowning. They had drowned, rather,” said one woman. “They (the family) were crying and the babies were crying and stuff.”
Ricardo Guidel, 9, and his cousin Diana Morales, 5, were pulled to shore, while the other boy climbed out on his own, officials said.
First responders began CPR on the two children and transported them to a local hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.
The father’s body remained hidden in the bayou for several hours until divers it.