LEAGUE CITY, TX (KTRK) --It started as a Sunday afternoon boat ride like they had done so many times before.
The family of Patrick Mathews said he was an experienced boater and swimmer.
"He loved being on the water, that was our thing to do. Sunday, funday on the creek in the boat. We'd ride around and get on the Seadoo and ride around there," said Alyssa Fancello, Mathews sister-in-law.
Just after 6pm Sunday, the husband and father jumped from the moving boat into Clear Creek, his 10-year-old son Riley and a friend were still on board. That's the last time they saw him.
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"They don't know. He just jumped in and never came back up. It was as if he was struggling, he had his hands up and they could see part of his head, but he never fully came back up," Mathew's wife, Deanna Hooker said.
Some fishermen nearby tried to help but Mathews couldn't be found.
Dive teams were called in to search Sunday night and again Monday morning before recovering a body. The medical examiner's office positively identified the man as Mathews.
Marine units say Mathews wasn't wearing a life preserver.
"There's no reason not to, no reason not to wear a life vest. If you're going to get in the water, you never know. There's been too many people that drown that could swim," Hooker said.
The father and husband had worked in the marine industry but his wife says it's what he did for others she'll remember most.
"He would help anybody. He helped my friend fix her Cadillac, which was going to cost her an arm and a leg. Right before he came out here he fixed her car and almost made it like new," said Hooker.
But there was a helpless feeling as no one could help him when he got into trouble in the water.
"I'm so worried about my sister and his son, because he was on the boat with him and seen his dad go under," said Fancello.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Mathews' funeral costs.