Palacios teen drowns in river

By adriana_acosta

July 10, 2010 at 2:10 a.m.

PALACIOS - A 14-year-old Palacios boy's body was found Saturday in the Tres Palacios River near an area called Broken Bridge.

Rudy Arteaga and three of his friends were dropped off Friday by his mother, Delores Altamira, for a day of swimming.

The trip ended tragically with search and rescue team spending about 15 hours searching for Arteaga.

Rudy's body was recovered only 300 yards from the bridge he had jumped from, according to Matagorda County Sheriff Gary Mathis.

According to the report, friends said they saw Rudy go under once, come up and then go under once more as he fought off the strong current.

The Arteaga family could not be reached for comment. Neighbors remember Rudy as a happy boy who spent hours playing outside in the yard.

David Brandstatt said neighbors had shared the sad news with each other. "I know he and his father used to love fishing," he said of Rudy.

"I have a 9-year-old, so I am saddened by the news," he said.

All the rain in the area has caused the rivers to rise, which created the strong current, the sheriff said.

"The river was higher than normal. Generally, when that happens, it is more dangerous to be swimming in the river," he said.

Search and rescue found tires, tree limbs and other debris in the swollen river, he added.

"Some of the volunteers were off-duty officers and wanted to help," Mathis said, noting that there were about 30 volunteers on the team.

The Matagorda County Sheriff's office marine division, game wardens and Lower Colorado River Authority boats helped in the rescue mission.

Rudy's body was discovered by the Department of Public Safety Underwater Search and Rescue team using sonar equipment.

"After looking through images underwater, we sent a diver and we guided him through the area to search," said Charlie Goble, sergeant of the diving team.

Rudy's body was transferred to Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Bay City.



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