The Chambers County Sheriff’s office is trying to determine what caused three siblings to drown at the Sylvan Beach Park Thursday night.
A 13-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy were presumably overcome by waves, while the fourth child, a 10-year-old boy, survived. The four children were siblings.
According to reports, 23-year-old Veronika Alvarez, heard her dog barking at the situation, saw the parents trying to grab a child and jumped into the water and saved the boy.
The La Porte Police Department received a call to report the drowning around 7:15 and arrived on scene within minutes. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office was notified around 7:30 p.m.
“Tragically, the three remaining children: a 13-year-old girl, and two boys aged 11 and 7 were seen by bystanders going underwater and not resurfacing,” Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said. “An immediate search of the area waters began and all three of the children were eventually recovered a short distance from where they were last seen.”
Chambers County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the tragic event, as the bay waters that border the park are wholly within Chambers County, and are trying to determine what exactly caused them to drown. Investigators are also trying to determine if the children were swimming beyond a water safety buoy.
“We feel like it may have been an undertow, possibly from a current from a large ship or just a tidal current that pulled them away,” Hawthorne said.
The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office is working with Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and both department’s chaplains are doing everything they can to comfort the family.
Chambers County Justice of the Peace Larry Cryer pronounced all three children deceased at the scene and ordered autopsies to be conducted by the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office, which is contracted with Chambers County.
Hawthorne said the names of the deceased would be released once all assurances have been made to take care of the family and contact is made with other immediate relatives.
“It was very nice to know that I had the assistance of Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife in the search and rescue efforts to recover the bodies of these children that tragically died in Chambers County waters,” Hawthorne said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those involved in this tragedy.”