Man drowns in Merced River

A 21-year-old Merced man drowned Thursday while swimming in the Merced River near Snelling, the Merced County Coroner’s Office reported.

The victim’s name was withheld pending notification of his family.

Deputy Delray Shelton said the man was swimming with a group of friends about 1:50 p.m. in the area of the Cunho Fishing Access area of the Merced River. Deputies said the man was on a rope swing and started calling out for help after splashing down into the river.

The man disappeared underwater for more than 15 minutes before he was pulled to the bank. His friends immediately called for help and performed CPR.

Shelton said emergency responders were delayed because of the area’s remote location. They were taken to the scene by employees of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Emergency responders were unable to revive the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.