TAYLOR COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - A church gathering at Green River Lake in Taylor County turns tragic this Mother's Day after 19-year old Jose Zambrano drowns.
"He loved my mother very much, he was the baby of the family," his sister, Idania Guarneros told us in Spanish.
Some of the kids were cruising the water on floaties. When they got too far, Zambrano jumped in bringing them to shore.
"He went for the kids," Guarneros said. "That was something honorable. He didn't think of himself, he was looking out for his nephew," she said.
Zambrano went back into the water to grab a floatie that drifted away when he started struggling. Three others, including his father, tried to reach him but couldn't. His sister said their mother and father are devastated.
Crews scoured the lake for four hours before finding him 50 feet away from the shore in 20-foot-deep water. Officials have seen this here before. They warn that even great swimmers can find themselves in danger.
"One of the main things that happen is that they start having cramps and they can't perform the swimming actions that they need to swim and then they get panicky and get into distress," Taylor County EMA Spokesman, Ronnie Dooley explained.
Zambrano had just graduated from Marion County High School last year. He enjoyed singing and playing guitar. His sister said he strived to be original and always wanted to make others laugh.
"He was a sweetheart," she said. "He never messed with anyone. He was the best. He had many talents."
Guarneros told us that their mom had surgery this past week and Jose had even offered to pay her medical bills for her just to help out his mom. She says the family is all together trying to offer each other support.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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