HCSO: Drowning at Banana Bend Beach

HIGHLANDS, TX (KTRK) -- A 34-year-old man drowned at Banana Beach in Highlands, Texas, as his 12-year-old son helplessly watched.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says it happened in the 50 block of Sandy Lane.

Family members identify the victim as Gustavo Mendoza. He and his son, Carlos, were playing in the water when Gustavo stepped into a hole. Neither father nor son could swim.

"I think he tripped and he was grabbing me from here and I couldn't breathe anymore so I went up and he just stopped," Carlos said. "He was grabbing me and he like stopped."

Banana Bend Beach is a private beach with warning signs wherever you look. But recent floods have made the river even more unpredictable. Bystanders flagged down Harris County deputies, who were out there doing regular patrol.

"The river out here, you could be in four feet of water and take a step and you're in fourteen feet of water," said Capt. Don Stanton, with the HCSO Marine Division. "There are a lot of holes out there."

"I want my dad back. I would do anything," Carlos said.
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