San Antonio teenager drowns in Medina
By Diane Cosgrove
Anvil Herald Staff
Deputies responded to a call Sunday at approximately 11:46
a.m., in reference to a possible missing child/drowning at
Paradise Canyon near Rio Medina, according to the Medina County
Sheriff’s Office. With the help of game wardens and Mico
Volunteer Fire and Castroville Fire departments, the body of
15-year-old Joshua Biggles of San Antonio was found in the Medina
Paradise Canyon is a recreational area north of Castroville and
south of Medina Lake.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden George Tamayo, who
responded to the scene, said the student from Sandra Day O’Conner
High School reportedly was at the park with family and friends and
had entered the water with friends, who all began swimming from
one side of the river to the other. Tamayo said witnesses said
Biggles swam part of the way across, then for some reason, turned
back. Initially, no one saw him begin quietly struggling in the
Tamayo said that a witness nearby spotted him flailing and
jumped in to try to save him, but after several attempts, lost the
boy in the muddy water. The game warden said he was told the water
was about 17 feet deep in that pool of the river.
“Apparently, he was having trouble,” Tamayo said. “You
know, when (someone’s) drowning, (they don’t shout) ‘I need
help.’ It’s a quiet struggle.
“By the time one of the witnesses on or near the bank tried
to go after him, he was already underwater,” he explained.
“Swimming in a pool in an apartment complex, in a creek or
river, and in the ocean – those are three different
environments,” Tamayo cautioned. “Swimming in a river is
difficult, compared to a swimming pool, and even in the ocean, you
have that buoyancy.
“I arrived about 1 p.m. The water is murky; you can’t see.
We had to wait for a flat-bottomed boat and a drag line to
retrieve (the victim). His body was recovered at 2:20 p.m.,” he
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an average of
3,533 people each year enter the water – usually for recreation
– and drown, approximately 10 per day. Of those, almost 80
percent are male.
“This type of tragedy breaks my heart,” Medina County
Sheriff Randy Brown said Monday. “This young man’s family is
in my prayers.”