Missing swimmer found, pulled from Schuylkill River in Reading
Updated On: Jul 19 2013 10:32:33 PM CDT
A young man who went missing while swimming in the Schuylkill River in Reading has died, city fire officials said.
The victim was Victor Pantoja, 26, from Reading, according to the Berks County coroner.
The crews got the call shortly after 5 p.m. Friday for a swimmer who went under the water in the river near Blair Avenue and Montgomery Street in northwest Reading and didn't resurface.
Initial reports from the scene were that the swimmer was under the water for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before he was located by first responders.
A handful of firefighters then climbed down a steep embankment and into the water to pull him out, officials said.
Emergency crews performed CPR on the unresponsive victim, who was rushed to the trauma center at Reading Hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later, officials said.
Pantoja was down by the river trying to cool off from the heat, says his friend, Luis Reyes, who called 911.
"I kept telling him don't go in the water," Reyes said. "I said, people drown in that water, man, why you going to go in there?"
The victim picked mushrooms for a living, and loved ones described him as a hardworking.
"He works eight, nine, ten hours a day cutting mushrooms. He's a good guy, man," Reyes said.
Officials say an autopsy will be conducted on the victim Saturday afternoon.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Morganelli: Police-involved shooting investigation could take weeks
Police: Man provides false information about Eric Frein
Foul language may stop plans to rename ASD field for Andre Reed
Tractor trailer accident stops traffic on Route 422
Deadly shooting shatters quiet at Washington school
Grandfather: Marysville school shooter hit cousins
Woman pleads guilty in animal cruelty case
Police: Stolen vehicle not used by Frein
Police: Deaths of 2 men inside car a murder-suicide
Thousands of dollars raised for man repeatedly mistaken for Eric Frein