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Swimming in canal proves deadly for area resident
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A Turlock man died Monday night after being found trapped underwater in a canal in a rural area of Turlock.

The deceased was identified as David Pombo, 66, of Turlock.

The incident was reported at 7:19 p.m. Monday in the 900 block of Prairie Flower Road. It’s unknown who made the 911 call, but Stanislaus County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said Pombo was swimming in the canal with a friend.

The Turlock Rural Fire Department, the sheriff’s department and emergency medical technicians responded to the scene.

Pombo was found pinned under the drop gate of the full canal and an attempt to pull him free was unsuccessful. The Turlock Irrigation District was contacted and they arrived at the scene to lift up the water control mechanism.

Pombo was pulled free at 7:47 p.m. and CPR was given to him. He was rushed to Emanuel Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Canals have both seen and unseen dangers for those tempted to dive in the water. The canals have high water levels, steep banks, cold temperatures, fast flows and debris that can trap people under the surface. The irrigation water also can have containments that are unhealthy to swim in.