A golfer playing the fourth tee at Ripon’s Spring Creek Country Club course Tuesday spotted the body of a man snagged in debris on the southern bank of the Stanislaus River on Tuesday.
Ripon Police as well as firefighters with their pontoon rescue boat responded to the 1 p.m. 9-1-1 call and entered the river near the railroad bridge south of Highway 99. The fire department’s water rescue crew recovered the fully clothed body of a Caucasian adult male who was estimated to have been in the water a considerable length of time, according to Ripon Police Sgt. Steve Merchant. .
The river is the dividing line between San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. Responding deputies from the two counties met to decide whose jurisdiction the body fell within for a report and follow up investigation. It was determined that the man had been found on the east side of the river which gave the responsibility to Stanislaus County.
Deputies as of 9 p.m. Tuesday were unable to release information on the man’s identity or age. The cause of death was unknown. Deputies also have yet to determine whether he was pushed or fell into the cold waters.
Due to the record snowpack, water releases from New Melones Reservoir have been significantly colder than in recent years. Water flows in the Stanislaus River are also running higher and swifter than they have in at least eight springs. The snowmelt is expected to continue well into June prompting Ripon Consolidated Fire Chief Dennis Bitters to issue a warning earlier this week that the public needs to be aware the Stanislaus River will be exceptionally treacherous this spring.