An off duty Contra Costa Country Deputy Carlos “Diamond” Francies, 30, drowned while attempting to save the life of his friend in Lake Tahoe, CA on Thursday. He was not wearing a life jacket.
“Today we lost a dedicated Deputy Sheriff and a member of our family. Deputy Carlos Francies died doing what he was sworn to do: putting himself in harm’s way to protect the lives of others. He is a hero and an example of exactly what is right in law enforcement today. We mourn with his family, friends and colleagues.” – Contra Costa Sheriff David O. Livingston said in a statement
Carlos, his girlfriend, his sister, and a friend had rented paddleboards and kayaks and launched them at El Dorado beach. Winds were strong that day gusting to 40mph on the water.
Carlos’ sister ended up falling off her kayak and Carlos’ friend jumping into the water to help her. At one point during the incident, Carlos’ friend appeared to be drowning.
Carlos jumped off his paddleboard into the lake and began swimming to his distressed friend. After swimming 20 feet Carlos himself began to began to struggle in the water and asked his girlfriend to pass him a life jacket.
Carlos’ girlfriend swam towards him with a life jacket, but Carlos had sank below the water. By the time his girlfriend reached him, Carlos was unconscious.
Carlos was pulled to shore, but he died on the scene.
Carlos had been working for the Sheriff’s Department since 2011. He lived in Sacramento nad worked in the Martinez Detention Facility.
Carlos was a serious athlete. He played football at Sacramento state and played professional arena football for the Stockton Lightning.
Deputy Carlos Francies died doing what he was sworn to do: putting himself in harms way to protect the lives of others.
— Contra Costa Sheriff (@CoCoSheriff) August 14, 2015
An investigation is underway.