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Crews continue searching Sacramento River for teen who drowned saving brother's life

Officials are searching the Sacramento River at the Yolo-Sutter County line for the teen's body.

KNIGHTS LANDING, Calif. — A Yolo County family is pleading for help from divers or other volunteers who are experienced in the search and recovery of bodies after a teen went under at the Sacramento River at 3rd Beach near Knight’s Landing Wednesday afternoon.

“A search by boat and air was also conducted yesterday afternoon until approximately 10 p.m. Ahmir was not located,” the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook Thursday. “Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Yolo Sheriff Dispatch 530-666-8282 or Sutter County Sheriff’s Office.”

Ahmir Watson, 18, jumped in the river Wednesday after his 15-year-old brother began to struggle in the water. Jaidin Watson says his older brother saved his life and then began struggling himself, went under, and never resurfaced.

“He saved my life,” Jaidin said.

Credit: Giacomo Luca/KXTV
Jacques Watson, 47, stands on 3rd Beach in Sutter County, near where his 18-year-old son went under the Sacramento River and never resurfaced. He is pleading for anyone help possible to find his son's body.

Ahmir had recently graduated from Pierce High School in Arbuckle with the class of 2021. He dreamed of going to Sacramento State University and wanted to pursue a career in rap music, his father Jacues Watson said.

“That was my baby. He was a great guy. He was such a strong talented young man,” the elder Watson said. “It’s all gone.”

Members of the Watson family have been on 3rd Beach each day since the incident, along with crews from Yolo, Sutter, Sacramento and Butte County who have assisted with the recovery process, family members said. Crews with the Aero Squadron were also out Friday to help.

Search crews spent at least four hours each day since the disappearance, searching the river for Ahmir's body. Crews are expected to be out on the river around 8 a.m. on Saturday to continue the search. 

Family members say they will continue to search on the river until Ahmir is found.

An expert diver familiar with the area said it can often take days to recover a body on the Sacramento River because it is treacherous for divers due to fast-moving currents and debris.

Family members are seeking help from any experienced divers that are willing to volunteer time or equipment to help with the search. Family members say they desperately want closure by finding Ahmir’s body. Anyone who would like to help can contact Jacques Watson at 469-939-6466.

Continue the conversation with Giacomo on Facebook.

Credit: Yolo County Sheriff's Office
Yolo County Sheriff's Office patrol unit

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