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Rescue team recovers body of 19 year-old

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POSTED July 22, 2013 1:05 a.m.

A two-day search and rescue effort by Ripon and Lathrop-Manteca firefighters and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Unit recovered the body of a teen matching the description of Savon Dean of Elk Grove who was last seen struggling to stay afloat Thursday evening in the Stanislaus River at Caswell State Park.

Dean, 19,  and a partner, described as an 11-year-old boy by firefighters, had entered the water on inner tubes Thursday morning north of the beach area.  Earlier reports indicated they had been using kayaks.

 Authorities said the youth had returned to the beach area and told relatives that Dean was struggling in the water without his life jacket and shouting for help.  His mother reportedly called for help on her cell phone. 

Divers from the Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department entered the water about 5 p.m. Friday on what was believed to be a recovery operation after nearly 24 hours of searching turned up nothing.  The 19-year-old’s body was recovered by divers about 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to a Sheriff’s report.

The only other water rescue divers in the county are assigned to the Stockton Fire Department.  In addition to the two fire departments and the Sheriff’s Department Boating Safety Unit on the scene, a police helicopter searched the river for the teen Thursday evening.

Dean’s family members continued to keep a vigil at their campsite after he disappeared, officials said.  His body was to be transported to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office to confirm his identity. 

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