Red Bluff father drowns trying to save son from family pond
A man trying to save his 5-year-old son drowned in Murphy's Pond northwest of Red Bluff on Saturday. The boy also died.
The bodies of 27-year-old James Patrick VanSickle and 5-year-old James Arthur VanSickle, both of Red Bluff, were recovered Monday from the 10-acre pond on Murphy's Lane, the Tehama County Sheriff's Office reported.
It appears the boy was in a boat on the pond with his father and younger sister when he fell overboard around 3 p.m., reported the Sheriff's Office.
The father jumped into the water in an effort to rescue his son, while the girl remained in the boat, reported the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's deputies said a relative of the VanSickles' saw the two enter the water and swam to the boat in an effort to help, but the father and son were submerged underwater and were not seen again.
Neither was reported to be wearing floatation devices.
"The pond is located next to James VanSickle's parents' home and the three were out on the boat fishing," said Sheriff's Lt. Dave Greer.
Sheriff's deputies, California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel, and a California Highway Patrol helicopter arrived on scene, but were unable to find either victim, said the sheriff's office.
The Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team and the Dive Team arrived to assist and conducted an three-hour rescue effort, which then turned into a recovery mission as it was presumed the father and son had drowned.
At 8 p.m., due to darkness, the search was postponed until 8 a.m. Sunday when recovery efforts were again under way, reported the Sheriff's Office.
A dog also joined the search efforts on Sunday, but again darkness brought things to a close without rescuers locating either victim.
Early Monday morning, the Shasta County Sheriff's Dive Team joined the efforts.
The bodies of both victims were found and recovered from the pond at 10:30 a.m., the sheriff's office reported.