VIDEO: Teen drowns in San Joaquin River days before high school graduation

(CNN)

Video courtesy of CNN.

FRESNO (KRON) – A family is in mourning after their soon-to-be high school graduate drowned in the San Joaquin River on Saturday.

18-year-old Neng Thao was enjoying a hot day at the river when he somehow ended up in the raging waters.

His friends yelled for help, exclaiming “He can’t swim, he can’t swim!”

Kendall Parsio was there with his kids and heard the commotion.

He and his friends immediately jumped into the river to help, but the current was too strong.

“The current was taking us pretty fast and so we got out and went around in about 60 yards we can’t see there was nobody there,” Parsio said.

The rushing water quickly pulled Thao downstream, prompting an hours-long search and rescue by Fresno Fire.

A fisherman eventually helped rescue crews, using his boat’s depth finder to locate Thao about 18 feet below the water’s surface.

Sadly, it was too late to save the young man’s life.

Loved one’s say he had just celebrated his 18th birthday and was set to graduate from Edison High School next week.

CNN contributed to this article.

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